editing, indie authors, writing

My Indie Author Blunders

Deciding to go the self-publishing route with my first book has been a learning curve, to say the least, especially during the first phase of Covid. But as they say, mistakes help us learn.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is pretty straight forward when it comes to all the steps required to publish your book on Amazon. I’ve enjoyed the process. Of course, you need to do all the hard work beforehand, such as editing, formatting, cover art, tagline and back cover blurb.

A fellow writer friend helped me with my first cover for ebook and print format. She had all the unique software to do that, so I was very grateful. I finished formatting my manuscript and used 12 point font Times New Roman. After I inputted each piece into KDP, I hit save. The next step was to order a proof copy. Now, this step is essential, and I don’t advise skipping it as I did. But I didn’t skip it on purpose… because of Covid, some items weren’t shipped across the border into Canada. My only option at this point was to order some author copies… but I had to make my book go live to do this.

So, my book was available in print for people to order while I was awaiting this order. When it arrived at my local Canada Post office, I was so excited! My first book in print! Yahoo!

Well, that excitement was short-lived. I opened the box, grabbed the top copy and frowned. My new expertise with formatting and cover design was not something to brag about. I didn’t centre the title, and both characters wore black coats and the colour blended to form one big blob of black, which was a saturated mess. Next, I turned to chapter one, and the print was so small I needed a magnifying glass to read it. I knew right there and then that I did not want this available for people to see.

Well, a few of my family members had already ordered it before I could stop them, and that’s okay. They still love me. But, I had to take action quickly. I stopped the print version right away and went back to the drawing board. I figured out how to centre the title and increased the font size. I also tweaked the black blob on the front cover the best I could. I waited for the proof to arrive and did see some improvement. The title looked good, but the black was still a saturated blob, and the font size was too big!

At my wit’s end, I realized I couldn’t do this by myself any longer. I took my proof to my two amazing sons, Nick and Clark, who run a marketing and web design company, SAXBY. After some deliberation, we decided on new cover art, tagline and font size that is more appealing to readers. I’m still awaiting this new proof, which should be arriving mid-January, and if all goes well, it will be available in print on Amazon shortly after that.

So what did I learn? Self-publishing is a never-ending process, and if you’re serious about publishing this way, it’s important to invest in all the proper software, take classes and don’t be afraid to ask for help. For me, I’m learning new skills, my book is out in the world, and if I decide to go this route again, I’ll be ready. 🙂

PS: You can take a peek at my new cover on my Home Page.

romance, Romance writing, Uncategorized, writing

Happy New Year! What’s next?

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I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years Eve! 😀

It was a quiet night for me. My two sons and I watched Skyscraper, starring Dwayne Johnson, and consumed our favorite comfort food reserved for past highland games – S’mores Pop Tarts. Just like the rest of the Christmas season, we splurged with wine and root beer. Interesting combo, right?

Some neighbours set off fireworks–starting at 9 pm which I’m assuming were for the youngsters and then again at midnight. I watched Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve – turned it to that station with 25 seconds to spare! At least once it would be nice to be in Times Square to share the camaraderie of hope and peace with others.

I know the pounds are creeping up a tiny bit on the scale each time I stand on it, but I, like many others, will fix that right up–January 2nd is the day to get back on track… and back to work.

This past week has been a relaxing and productive one. My husband set a challenge before me – to finish my first draft of book two in my Fashion World romance series by mid-January. I was halfway through chapter six at the time.

I’m currently on chapter eight! Trust me that is amazing! It is so hard to find time to write when you have a full-time job. So I now I sit on my couch with a cup of coffee close by and turn the TV to Stingray The Spa channel (you could say it’s my writing jam). I am most productive when it’s playing in the background, my cat curled up somewhere nearby, and my dog asleep at my feet.

So, my goal for now–as short-term goals are more achievable–is to finish the first draft of book two. Will it be by mid-January? I sure am going to try, but I do have to go back to work tomorrow.

Let’s say January 31. Sound good?

Please feel free to share your short-term goals for the beginning of 2019. I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy the day!

romance, Romance writing, writing

Rowena’s Inn on the River

Good morning! This past weekend my husband and I went to a wedding in Harrison Mills, BC. A beautiful little retreat on the Sandpiper golf course called Rowena’s Inn on the River. Isn’t it gorgeous? I believe this location would be a great place for some quality writing. What do you think? That view is quite inspiring.

 

contests, romance, writing

Pitch Slam – no luck this time

Well, I didn’t advance to the agent stage in #Pitch Slam, but I learned so much about my 35 word pitch and my first 250 words. I would like to make a big shout out to the creators, bloggers, editors and agents who all made #Pitch Slam such a great success. I can’t wait until next time. 

The next contest #RT Slap is open to YA (young adult), NA (new adult) and A (adult) romance. No info on word count for the pitch but I will keep everyone posted. The contest is on Monday, May 5, 2014 8 am EST to 8 pm EST. 

Be brave and submit. It’s so much fun.

Remember the writing world is very subjective. If you aren’t selected to advance, it doesn’t mean that you’re a terrible writer and should stop writing forever. It means your story didn’t click for that particular agent/editor on that specific day. So keep trying. Someone out there will LOVE what you wrote — you just need to get your work out there and never stop trying.