Today, we have a very special guest blogger and author joining us. Priya Kanaparti, author of Dracian Legacy, has stopped by to share some advice on self-publishing. Many people think that self-publishing is of lesser quality but having read through the first half of her book this past week, that couldn’t be further from the truth! I can’t wait to finish and will be writing a review of her intriguing novel.
Dracian Legacy Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dracian-Legacy-ebook/dp/B00BFECT1I
Dracian Legacy, #1 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16007175-dracian-legacy
Dracian Origins #2 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17302634-dracian-origins
Dracian Sacrifice #2.5 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17930788-dracian-sacrifice
Let’s Do Something Crazy and Self-Publish your first book!
Publishing a Book.
It is as mind-blowing as it is gut wrecking experience to have your book publish. Now there are many misconceptions that only a book published through publishing houses are the real publishers. I beg to differ. There are many great authors that have self-published their books and made it to amazon’s top 100 list or into NY bestsellers. Some of these authors were acquired by publishing houses after the fact and some others even ventured into movie deals.
Over the past year, I had learned a few valuable lessons in how tedious this whole process can be. I wished there was one place that I could find my answers on how to get started.
But before I go any further, I would like to thank Jackson Baer for giving me the opportunity to do a guest post on his blog. Thank you Jackson!
Without further ado, here are the four steps to become a successful self-published author.
Step 1: Finish writing your book.
It sounds simple right? Not necessarily. Writing a book, is possibly the most painful process even for a seasoned writer. You don’t believe me? Ask any of your favorite Authors.
It takes time.
It takes commitment.
It takes creativity to put the story that only lived in your mind onto a piece of paper…and make it believable.
Mine took seven drafts and over three hundred hours of hard labor, hungry husband, and unkempt home before I was satisfied enough to let someone else look at it. But DON’T give up. Finish what you started.
Step 2: Find your support team
I can’t stress this enough! Finding a support team that works with you and provides you with constructive feedback is of utmost crucial piece of this process. Your support team should include Critique partners (CP) and/or Beta readers, Professional Editor, Cover designer, and a mentor.
Critique Partners (CP) are those that read through your terrible work of carefully articulated masterpiece and provide you with constructive feedback on character development, plot holes, plot development, grammar and spelling mistakes with more than a critical eye. These wonderful partners invest time and thought into helping you create a beautiful masterpiece.
Finding that person that you can work with is difficult to find. I went through a dozen different sample Manuscripts before I my final CP team came together. I chose them based on their individual strengths, genre’s we had in common, writing and critique style.
With some time and effort, you too can put together that team of exceptional individuals that will improve your writing overall. Here are few websites where you can find your dream team:
http://www.ladieswhocritique.com This was where I met all of my Critique partners.
Professional Editor can take the work that you and your CPs have completed and take it to the next level. Do your research. I started by going through the books of my favorite authors and found information on editors that they had worked with and contacted them. Then I requested each of them to provide me with a 5-10 editing sample and a quote for my full length Manuscript. At the end, I tallied each editor and selected the one that best fit my budget and expectations for the editor.
Cover designer can help in branding your story specifically for you. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on having a beautiful book design completed. There are many designers out there can do this as low as $50 per cover. Just remember that book presentation is in direct correlation to the number of books you sell.
Mentor can help you learn the ins and outs of the self-publishing world. When you have a question or are in need of an input, this is the person you want to go to.
Step 3: Marketing and Prep work.
Get the word out.
Get on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and talk about your work and experiences.
To gain more fan base, get involved in the writing community. There are plenty of bloggers out there that would love to have you do guest posts, interviews, and giveaways. In addition, go to other blogs and respond to their post. This will get your noticed, plus allows you to know and get involved in your writing community.
Step 4: The Anchor
So you’ve completed your novel, gone through your group of support team, prepped the world of your arrival, now what?
Get yourself published!
A simple way is to go to a DIY publisher like Createspace. They provide you with tools to help you get started and even provide your ebook and paperbacks with free ISBN. Smashwords is another website that is similar to createspace and also provides free ISBN for the books published through them!
Well, that’s it! Four simple steps to getting yourself published. I hope the information provided has given you enough guidance to get help you get started with your venture to becoming a self-published author. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll respond to them to the best of my knowledge.
Today, we’re going to meet an up-and-coming author, Shane Porteous. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know Shane.
You’re the author of HOW GODS BLEED and I’ve got to say that the cover is fantastic. Was it your design?
As much as I would like to take credit for the awesome cover I can’t. It was designed by a great fan of mine called Christopher Richards. He is such a fan of my work that he did it free of charge, thanks again Chris!
What is your favorite line or excerpt from HOW GODS BLEED?
Choosing a favorite line is very difficult, because I am extremely proud of How Gods Bleed. However, I think the perfect excerpt is the prologue, it should give potential readers a good idea of what How Gods Bleed is all about.
“The Rodovic war was the bloodiest and longest conflict of its age. Fought between the kingdoms of Gatavoi and Belrondia, it was a war that lasted for three decades. But it was on the fields of Marga where the most important battle of history was fought. Over one million warriors from both kingdoms waged a battle more ferocious than any other. By the 11th day the battle had come to a bloody end and only a single man still stood. Cada Varl, a soldier of Gatavoi. But after seeing so much blood and death Cada Varl had lost his humanity.
As he began to wander the land aimlessly, wolves, drawn by the smell of blood and death came to the field and feasted on the flesh of the fallen. Such a feast of human flesh made the wolves hunger for more of the same taste. The wolves followed the wandering Cada Varl attacking him upon nightfall. As the now mindless man lay there with the wolves savoring his flesh he witnessed the full moon and its light reminded him of whom he once was.
With his memories restored the desire for survival returned and using a simple spike of silver worn around his neck he injured one of the wolves. Seeing their meal was now ready to fight back the wolves stirred and fled from him. Though he now remembered his humanity the light of the moon was not enough to make it return and so he remained immortal, a shell of what he once was. Though he had been able to save himself from the wolves, their tastes remained and having fed on the flesh of an immortal they now carried a piece of him inside them.
The wolves attacked villages, cities and anywhere else where humans dwelled. Those who were attacked but survived were infected by Cada Varl’s immortality, twisted and combined with the spirit of the wolves. From this hybrid of an infection the survivors became monsters, neither wolves nor immortals, but something in between. As the wolves continued attacking villages so the monsters continued to spread until only after a few short decades they had become so numerous that the west belonged to them. The very few humans that one way or another survived the rise of the monsters fled into the east and thus the continent of Noonsva became divided between the lands of the werewolves in the west and the lands of man in the east.”
That is a fantastic teaser! Now, what is your favorite thing about being a writer?
When answering this question, I cannot help but think of a Simpson’s quote.
“Reality is for those who cannot imagine anything better.”
Now I am not delusional (at least that is what the one legged space chicken told me the other day.) But writing gives me an enormous sense of control. In my created world the nice guy can get the gorgeous girl, good can win over evil and no one is forced into a hopeless situation. There’s something very comforting about that sense of control. No matter what else is going on in my life I can make sure the right thing is done in my created world.
If you could live in any country in the world, which one would you choose?
The country I already live in Australia.
Fair enough, I’ve always wanted to visit there 🙂 What is your favorite reality show (I’m not a huge fan of any but sometimes watch American Idol with my wife)?
Unsurprisingly being a fantasy writer, I am not a big fan of reality shows. But I use to be into American Chopper and I will gladly watch the occasional episode of Pawn Stars and once in a while Storage Wars isn’t too bad. I know they aren’t technically reality shows but I enjoy those Cryptozoology specials that are on once in a while.
I forgot about Storage Wars, I like those too- and Auction Kings. So, what are you working on now?
I am putting together an anthology called “The Battle of Ebulon.” 15 authors have joined forces to write an epic crossover of our characters, placing them into a single world. I am really excited about it and am just putting the finishing touches on it. Keep an eye out for it in the upcoming weeks.
Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?
This is a very difficult question for me to answer, because I am more a fan of individual stories than what authors wrote them. For example, Berserk by the Japanese Author Kentaro Miura is my all time favorite story.
However, the one author I would love to meet face to face is Clive Barker. In my own writing I tried very hard to be different and if possible original. Clive Barker fits that very rare mould of being alternative and yet very successful. I don’t have a specific question I want to ask him I would love to just sit down with him one and one and talk about writing.
Ocean or mountains? Definitely Oceans, I’m terrified of heights
Chicken or steak? Chicken
Bacon and eggs or cereal? Bacon and Eggs, except for fruit loops, ha ha
Happy or sad ending to a novel? Obviously depends on the novel. But I have always found the hero sacrificing themselves for the greater good to be very romantic (in a way) so sad endings.
Beer or wine? BEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cruise or cabin getaway? Ever seen Evil Dead? I would rather drown than get attacked by ancient spirits.
Baseball or football? Easy question for an Aussie, football.
Walt Whitman or Virginia Woolf? Tough choice, Walt Whitman.
You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take only three things with you. What are you bringing?
Excluding supplies, such as food and water. I would bring my ebook reader, (even though I do prefer paperback.)
If I could find one, a solar powered laptop so I can write. A really well made pillow.
You’re able to sit down with any king in world history. Who would you choose and what would you talk about?
Emperor Meiji, the fact that Japan went from a land of feudal states into a world power under his control has always fascinated me, the fact that a country could change so radically in a single life time.
Shane Porteous is a master of the legendary 77 donut devouring technique. I live in a place of strange dreams and even stranger reality. I have been published both independently and traditionally. I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I pride myself on being alternative and original. The only guarantee I can give about my writing isn’t whether you’ll like it or hate it, but you will remember me. If you don’t believe me there is only one way to find out, by downloading my FREE full length Ebook.
How Gods Bleed has been called “The most original werewolf story ever told,” by more than one reviewer. Please keep in mind that it isn’t a paranormal romance, urban fantasy or horror story. It is Alternative Dark Fantasy. So please get yourself a copy and find out just how original of a story it is.
Thank you Shane for stopping by and be sure to check out his new, FREE, novel: HOW GODS BLEED.
Thank you Glenna Maynard, author of Beautiful Strangers, for interviewing me on her blog. Here is the link to that interview: Glenna’s Interview with Jackson Paul Baer
You can check out Glenna’s book here:
Writing a novel can be a daunting task but editing one can be even more challenging. If you’re like me, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at all the different phases of editing involved with writing a quality novel. These can’t be overlooked, however, as the editing process makes a novel.
So, let’s look at a few of the steps involved that may help you as you are writing and editing.
- Edit as you go: As you are writing, edit each chapter before beginning the next one for spelling/grammar mistakes as well as plot errors. It’s much easier to catch these as you go rather than sorting them all out after you’ve written 80,000 words.
- Edit the book in blocks: Let’s say you have twenty-five chapters in your novel. After you finish five chapters, go back and edit those five. When you finish ten chapters, go back to the beginning and edit it all over again. Do this throughout the entire book. That’s a lot of work you say? It’s worth it. You will get to know your novel better than your spouse and the finished product (and your readers) will thank you.
- Find other eyes: Gather a group of friends/other writers who are willing to read your book and offer you constructive criticism. Then, take that feedback and make your novel better. You must have thick skin and if you don’t, writing probably isn’t for you. I’ve received harsh feedback from a few people and it helped me more than anything else. I had to rewrite the first chapter of THE EARTH BLEEDS RED at least twenty times (no exaggeration) based on feedback from a few of my editor friends.
- Forget about it: After you finish the book, let it sit for five to ten days. Then, go back and start all over from the beginning. This will tell you if you really have a winner or if it still needs work. Don’t get discouraged if it still needs work. Anything worthwhile takes time so be encouraged that your hard work will pay off.
- Read it out loud: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Reading the book out loud will surprise you at how different it sounds compared to what you’ve been reading inside your head for so long. I read out loud to my wife and my oldest daughter. It helps me change dialogue and other scenes when they don’t feel natural.
This list is not all-inclusive but I hope that it will help you when it comes to editing your novel. Happy writing and happy editing! Oh, and don’t forget what Ernest Hemingway once said: “Write drunk; edit sober.”
Thank you to Priya Kanaparti for having me on her blog for what amounted to my first author interview. She is the author of an intriguing book I’m about to read and review here on my blog. You can check out her book here and look forward to a guest blog from Priya in a little over a week:
You can read the interview here: Priya’s Interview of Jackson Paul Baer
I often get asked by friends and fellow writers: How do you come up with an idea for a story?
While there are many ways of doing this, I’m going to share what works for me. Many times, I like to just sit down and write. I try to squeeze in times during the day, often only 10-30 minutes and write while I have available time. My main writing, however, is done at night.
I love the night because it is quiet. I’ll usually start around 9:30pm when everyone goes to bed and then write, off and on, till midnight. Some nights, I’ll write as late as 3 or 4am, depending on what type of groove I’m in. I’d realistically say that I write 2-3 hours per day with a minimum of 1 hour and a max of 5 hours.
Regardless of how long you write, remember this: some writing is better than no writing.
If you can only spare 15 minutes, use that 15 minutes and know that every little bit adds up. It’s a lot like diet and exercise. Often, we don’t exercise as much as we’d like to but something is better than nothing.
I do like to write down big picture ideas for the novel I’m working on. I like having ideas to use as I’m writing and more times than not, what I initially wrote down changes from what I sit down and type. That’s okay, the important thing for me is that I have something to work from- a starting point. This helps me to not forget a good idea that may pop into my mind as well as think the overarching plot out in advance.
I also find it helpful to edit as I go. I’ll go over every chapter from the beginning after I finish each individual chapter. Then, I’ll go through every five chapters or so as a group so I make sure I’m keeping continuity. It also reminds me of the subtle details I inserted earlier and keeps things flowing nicely. Then, at the end, I go through the entire book 3-4 more times as a whole, taking time between each edit to let the book sit and breathe.
After all is said and done, it’s fair to say I’ve gone over the novel around 20 times. The most important thing you can do as a writer is to write. I’ve written so much crap that I’d be embarrassed for you to read it. Eventually, you’ll find what you were meant to write and then you’ll never stop.
Some people say I talk too much but they’re the one’s saying all that shit. I don’t talk near as much as Wes. He’s always going on about his fucking job and how he hates his co-workers (not to mention that he’s a racist). I’ll give him credit though, he’s an equal opportunity racist. He calls black guys “brother,” anyone who’s Hispanic “Mexican,” and Iraqi’s “Obama.” Not “Osama” but “Obama.” He likes to mix racial slurs even when they don’t really make sense. But that’s okay, I know how to get under his skin. All I have to do is call him “Fidel” because he kind of looks like a young Fidel Castro when he grows his beard out and wears that ridiculous green, military-style hat.
I’m pretty sure his mom slept with a Middle-Eastern guy somewhere along the way, maybe even two. He thinks that every Middle-Eastern guy is an, “al-Qaeda loving, cock-sucking, plane-crashing son of a bitch.” It’s funny though, he never makes fun of the women. I think he wants to bang the women but when I tease him about it he says, “Fuck you man, I’m not into that shit.” No mention of their more-than-normal body hair. No comments about the hoods on their heads. No talk of terrorism or how Obama is their God. Yeah, I’m pretty sure Wes loves him some dark women.
I don’t have a problem with any other race. You can be Chinese, Japanese, or any other “nese” and it’s fine with me. One of my best friends is Black. I think the girl from Deal or No Deal, number 25 with the afro, is absolutely gorgeous. I like diversity. It’s Wes who is the racist. I remember one time he was talking to this girl, back when we were in high school, and I’ll never forget the look on his stupid face.
“Yeah, my family is really religious,” said Sarah. “My dad makes us go to church all the time.”
“That’s cool,” said Wes. “Where do you guys go?”
“St. Mary’s Cathedral, down off of Ash, by the Boys & Girls Club.”
“How did you become a Catholic?” said Wes, laughing with a powerful smile that would have made Martin Luther pound his hammer even harder. “Are you guys Mexican or something?”
Sarah was a beautiful girl. She had long, dark hair and deep brown eyes. Her teeth were white and her smile was as bright as a nearly full moon. Now, I’m not a racist but I could tell by her arms that she was probably Hispanic or Latina or from Spain or something. She kind of looked like she had some Spanish blood in her. She had thick, luscious eyebrows and was only 5’ 1.” I watched her as Wes laughed like the inbred racist he is. I actually thought she was going to cry.
“I’m from here you asshole,” Sarah said, touching her forehead with one hand and getting her backpack on with the other. “My parents were born in Venezuela. They came here before I was born. So yes, I guess I’m Mexican.”
You should have seen his dumb-ass face. At first, I wasn’t sure if he was more embarrassed for having insulted the beautiful Sarah or if he was sick because he had hit on a Mexican girl. “Uh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” Wes said as he tried to collect himself and get out of there as soon as he possibly could. “It’s just, you don’t look Mexican…”
“I’m not Mexican you jerk. I’m American and my parents are Venezuelan.”
“But you said you were Mexican,” Wes tried to respond but just as he finished the word “Mexican,” Sarah slapped him so hard that he let out a little cry. There was a handprint across his left cheek and he walked as fast as he could out of the cafeteria while everyone turned and looked, as quiet as if they had just witnessed a car accident. Fidel Castro left the room and Sarah sat back down in her seat, composing herself and fixing her hair a bit. I sat across the table from her, unsure of what to do next. I had all these different thoughts running through my mind of what to say and that maybe this was my chance to make a move on the pretty girl.
“I don’t think you look Mexican,” I said, immediately regretting opening my mouth. “I mean, you don’t look like, well, I mean you look norm… You look like you.” Goddammit. I should have left with Wes. Now, she’s going to think I’m a racist too.
“It’s okay,” Sarah said, “I know what you mean. I just hate it when people think I’m Mexican and I’m not. If I were Mexican, I wouldn’t care. I’d be proud of who I was. You know what I’m saying?” Damn, she’s smart too. All I could think of now was saying the right thing. I just had to be better than Wes, that couldn’t be too difficult. I smiled just a sly little smirk and said, “I understand. I always tease Wes because he kind of looks like Fidel Castro and he hates it. I wouldn’t want people thinking I was Mexican or something when I’m not.” There are times in my life where I wished I could take back something I’d said or had another chance to make a better decision. At that moment, I felt like I’d just said something to upset the pretty girl. Wes was the one who had a problem with the Blacks and the Indians and of course the Mexicans. I like everybody, I mean, Sarah looked Mexican and I thought she was gorgeous.
Sarah stared at me with her flowing eyes and didn’t say a word. It almost felt like that moment your mom is upset at you and she doesn’t have to say anything, she just looks at you and you know. God she was gorgeous. She slowly stood up, didn’t say a word, and glancing at me with a bit of compassion, she walked out through the doors and left the cafeteria. I sat at the table, by myself, looking at the people talking and laughing. I’m sure they were laughing at Wes and talking about him getting slapped by a girl. They were probably talking about his hat that made him look like “Fidel.” I stood up and turned around, thinking about what I should do next. I walked out of the cafeteria and down the hallway, towards Sarah’s locker. I saw her down the hall putting something into her locker and looking into her bag. I walked down towards her and stopped just in front of where she stood.
“Hey,” I said, clever as usual, “I’m sorry if I said anything to offend you. It’s just that I like you and didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I’m really not a racist- really, I swear.” She looked at me and just as sweet as could be she said, “Thank you, but I don’t date White guys.”