Friday, April 29, 2016

You've decided to write a book, now what?

You wake up in the middle of the night with a story burning in your mind.  You try to go back to sleep, but you can't because the plot of this wonderful story continues to play out in your mind.  You toss and turn, fluffing your pillow until you finally give up and get out of bed before you wake up your sleeping spouse.

Many of us have had this happen.  A story will pop into our minds and hold us hostage until we make it into a novel.  The only problem is for the first-time writer is where to start?  Now, I'm not saying that it takes a college degree to write a good book, nor am I saying that everyone will have what it takes to do this challenging career choice.  Heck, the majority of Indie Authors don't make enough money to quit our jobs, let alone live in the lap of luxury, but that really doesn't matter.  We write because it's a passion.  We write because we love to take an idea and turn it into something that will make the readers want more.  Now, I'm not saying there aren't those out there who aren't enjoying nice royalty checks from their book sales, but you need to understand that didn't happen overnight.  It takes dedication and a willingness to put yourself out there in a way that may not always be loads of fun.

I spent nearly 4 years writing my debut novel.  I had no idea what I was doing, so I'm sure some of the famous authors would cringe at my writing routine.  I didn't use charts or plot boards with notes and pins.  Heck, I didn't even have an organized idea of how the book was going to end.  I just sat down at my trusty laptop and started typing.  I did learn as time went on to keep notes of names, places, and other important things happening in the story.  Nothing is worse than having to dig through your manuscript, trying to find a character's name or some other important fact. Like I said, I had no idea what I was doing, I just typed my story until I came to the end.

One bit of advice I give all new writers; please do not put headers, page numbers, and such in you manuscript.  While those will need to be added to a print version of your book, they do not go in an ebook version.  Also, set your justification for left and single space.  Another no-no is to tab over instead of setting the auto-tab for the beginning of each paragraph.  If you do these little things it will make the formatting process MUCH easier. Oh yeah, please do not use the enter key to go to the next page.  Use the page break option.  There are so many things first time writers do, thinking they are helping when they are actually just making more work for the formatting process.

When I published my first book in 2011, I really had NO idea what I was doing.  I had written a book that I believed was something the reading public would enjoy, so I put it on Smashwords and Amazon then I sat back and waited.  Boy, was I surprised when nothing happened.  That was my first lesson; you must promote your book PRIOR to publishing.  Who knew? LOL

So, I went on Facebook and started making posts telling people about my book.  Now I have to confess that I was lucky to have published my debut book back then because there weren't the thousands upon thousands of other authors trying to be seen as well.  My debut book began to sell and I was feeling pretty dang good about myself.  I then learned one of the more important lessons a writer can ever learn... make sure your book is well edited and typo free.  I'm not saying that I didn't hire an editor because I did and I'm not saying she didn't do a good job because she did.  I made a fatal mistake (it's a long story) and learned after I did a Kindle Free Days with over 26,000 downloads that my book was loaded with typos.  Talk about a slap in the face when the 1 Star Reviews starting pouring in.  I have since cleaned up the book, but there will always be over 26,000 crappy copies out there on people's kindles.  Hopefully, they've deleted them, but I lost the potential for thousands of fans of my work.

So, to prevent this happening to you, I highly recommend setting you book aside for a while after getting it back from the editor and work on your next book.  Then after some time, go back and re-read it again BEFORE publishing it.  You'll be surprised at the sneaky typos that manage to get by even the most thorough editor and proofreader.  Proper editing is a must, so ask other writers for referrals and choose wisely.  You don't want to make my mistake because it's a tough one to swallow.

Once you know your book is as clean of problems as possible, it's time to format for ebook and print.  This is also an important step in preparing your book for the reading public.  You can choose to hire someone, or you can do it yourself.  Me, being the type of person that doesn't want to start out too far in the red when I publish my books, decided to learn how to do it myself.  I mean, it took me around 8 months to break even with my first book. Besides, I like to add little extras in my books, so by doing the formatting myself I'm able to offer my readers some special features.

I hope this will help you understand a bit of what you need to do when you finish your masterpiece.

Take care and feel free to add any comments or ideas you may have.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I wanted to share this with you

Hello again,  I know you're probably surprised to see a post from me so quickly but I wanted to share my new book trailer video for The Dragon's Blood Key.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Came up for air

Wow, have I been busy the last few weeks. Between Deadly Reads Radio and the huge editing project I've been working on for a first-time author, I've barely had time to breathe. 

I wanted to update you on some things I've been doing, so here goes....

Last month I had a blast getting to know some great people in the Motion Pictures business on Deadly Reads Radio.  

First, we had James Preston Rogers, who was in such great movies as Outlander, Pixils where he was one of the Navy SEALs, to his lastest release The Masked Saint, where he played The Reaper.

Next, we had Randall P Dark, who is at the cutting edge of the digital media industry and renowned expert in emerging technologies.

Then we had Jullian Bullock, Author of HERE I STAND, life coach, speaker, screenwriter, award-winning filmmaker, martial artist, boxer, advocate for females, working on A Sense of Purpose. 

Next was Carol Hovsepian, she returned to share with us about her movie making career.  She's a Producer/Writer at her production company La Moog Productions. She believes in creating memorable stories worth the ticket you pay for. Carol also does Script Consulting, is a Children’s Author, and an Educator.

And lastly, but certainly not the least, we had the honor of having Screen Writer/Author Doug Richardson join us.  Doug is an A-List Screen Writer with such greats as Die Hard 2-Die Harder, Bad Boys, Hostage, and numerous others under his belt.  Doug is also a Best-Selling Author of some exciting Dark Thrillers.

As you can see March was a great month on Deadly Reads Radio.  If you'd like to listen to any of these interviews, you can find them here.  April has also been a fun month with some great Best-Selling Authors.

I never thought I would be the host of a Radio Show, but I have to admit that I love it.  I've learned so much from each of our guests and I'm honored they would agreed to come on and spend the evening with us.  If you haven't done so yet, please go and like our Deadly Reads Radio channel on Blog Talk Radio and our other social media sites.

The editing project I've been woking on is quite an exciting book for the first-time author.  It's loaded with suspense, action, graphic violence, and wonderful characters with great stories of their own.  He hasn't decided on a final title yet, so I can't share it with you just yet, but once he does I'll let you know.  
I'm looking forward to completing this project because I'd like to get back to my own writing.  I have the rest of The Dragon's Blood Key, Book 2 to finish before some fans of the series have a fit. LOL

I'd also like to finish writing my Paranormal Thriller, 4, which is the story of a really pissed spirit.   Here is the cover I'm thinking of using for it

I'd like to thank you for following my blog.  I know I don't post very much, but I've been told to stop procrastinating and just do it.