Thursday, February 7, 2019

Craft, Marketing and Not Fearing Mistakes...

Originally from She Writes.com:

Diane Shute on Craft, Marketing and Not Fearing Mistakes


Diane Shute recently released her novel Midnight Crossing, the second in her Midgnight trilogy. She joined us to talk about her morning routine, when she started to feel like a writer and what she does to market her work.
SW: Share your writing routine. 
DS: I write early, when it’s quiet before the day starts. My playlist includes a mix of baroque, classical, Celtic harp, and Indie folk music in no particular order. I edit at times later in the day, when there’s more likely to be interruptions. When I’m busy with other things, I write in my head. I don’t worry too much about outlines…if I do, they’re not fussy. My writing is more or less a fluid process, and subject to change on the whim of my characters.
SW: Describe your writing style in three words.
DS: I'm a pantser.
SW: What is the first thing you can remember writing?
DS: My name. Seriously! There's something magical about making lines and shapes to create words on a paper for others to read! So, I began writing in school with the book reports due on Fridays. Since I’ve always been a little horse-crazy, my earliest stories always had something to do with horses. 
SW: When did you start to feel like a writer?
DS: I don’t think I considered myself a writer until my first book, After Midnight, was published. I finally owned up to the label by adding it to my social media pages.
SW: Was there something about the publishing experience that surprised you?
DS: Without a doubt, the marketing of a book was something I knew nothing about, so was completely unprepared for.  
SW: What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 
DS: Don't be afraid of mistakes. Just start writing. It doesn’t have to be pretty—and worry about editing later. Read everything you can find…you can’t write without reading. Read authors in your favorite genre for inspiration and read different genres to feed your imagination. There are also a ton of resources online with writing games and word prompts. Writing is a craft.Seek out a mentor and build support by joining writing groups.
SW: What do you do to help develop your craft?
DS: I read and write daily. Reviewing books is a great way to support my fellow authors and helps me focus on my own work. I belong to multiple online writing groups, and subscribe to craft periodicals. She Writes University has offered some very nice webinars—but probably the most important aspect of developing my skill, is to write.
SW: What methods are you using to market your book?
DS: I split my time on social media between Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I linked my accounts so I can post one time on all three sites. I have my own website and a channel on youtube where my book trailers are posted, which I also share on social media. I run occasional banner ads or spotlights on various Indie websites, and sought the expertise of a publicist for the launch of my latest book, Midnight Crossing.
Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
Regards,
S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
                          
                      Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Women's Fiction. 
                     Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.
                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  
                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.
                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.
                     Did you know that the first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest? 

My Black Opal Books Author Page:
http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis
                                           Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sjfrancis419
                 Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325
       My Writing Blog: http://www.sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com
      A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                  One for the Animals: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com
                                               Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sjfrancis419/
 Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about
                           Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j

And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Writing Your Next Book...

Originally from She Writes.com:


When you start writing your new book you feel more prepared for the process. You think you’re ready and well-equipped. You think you’re well informed, and you think you know what the whole journey ahead will look like. You know what to expect. It seems clear. You write, you write more, you revise, you edit, you edit again, you hire an editor, then you edit some more, and finally, your book is ready for the publication and is published. If you break down the whole process into the stages and generalize, it’s that simple and that hard. The trick is to actually get to that final stage avoiding nervous breakdown, and as far as I know right now, while I’m working on the first draft of my second novel, each and every day I realize more and more that it’ll need much of the nerve, much of persistence, much of rewrites, much of battling with ever growing self-doubts, much of the motivation and believing that I'll get  get through it.
    Writing your next book might sometimes feel as a trap you’re deliberately putting yourself into. It feels like a game you’re playing with yourself, trying to prove that this time, it’ll be easier, it is a challenge you force yourself to first face and then slowly overcome, and  the more you write, more challenging, more demanding it becomes. The more you write the louder the voice of the critic inside you doubting and trashing down the idea of the book, the concept, the pace, the characters is and at some point you’re starting to panic that after all, there are millions of wonderful books out there, and chances are, you’re wasting your time, you could use your talent for something else, say, learning a new language, or finally getting your hands into planting a bunch of roses in your garden, thus doing something creative but maybe slightly less demanding.
"Maybe you just had one story inside you and you’ve written it already?", Says the critic, sending you an overwhelming emotion of fear, destroying those minuscule pieces of confidence you tried so hard to hold on to and unfortunately, often during those first stages of writing your new book, the critic wins all the rounds of that little war. Strangely, the experience you’ve gained while writing your first novel both helps you and at the same time, that same experience to a certain point throws you back. It’s harder to be free, you’re more cautious this time; you’re more carefully choosing words you write. You care.  You’re responsible.  You feel that the ease of writing is gone, you’re thinking more, plotting more and rewriting, rewriting, rewriting until something switches in you, and the fear of failure transforms into fear of not having enough time to tell the new story, you’re slowly starting to enjoy the process, and you fear to not accidentally miss all the details,  the overtones, the nuances you want to put in your new project. Occasionally, you even laugh while reading your writing, you wake up in the middle of the night, determined to finish your book, you switch on your computer and you start to write, and there’s only you and your writing and nothing else matters, time freezes.  You know that there are at least three people who’ll definitely read your book and that alone keeps you going, keeps you wanting to tell the story. The world, even if that "world"  is yet  realtively small as an audience is waiting for reading your new book, which means it's worth a crazy journey.

Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
Regards,
S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
                          
                      Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Women's Fiction. 
                     Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.
                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  
                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.
                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.
                     Did you know that the first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest? 

My Black Opal Books Author Page:
http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis
                                           Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sjfrancis419
                 Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325
       My Writing Blog: http://www.sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com
      A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                  One for the Animals: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com
                                               Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sjfrancis419/
 Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about
                           Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fear of Finishing the Book....

A note from SJ Francis: I can relate to this article. I'm sure other authors can, too, which is why I'm sharing it with you. I've written my second novel. I've edited a few times already. Unfortunately, I can't get it right where it needs to be in context and word  count. Hence, I've set it aside until I can "finish" it. Will I ever be able to do that? Gee, I sure hope so. We'll just have to wait and see....

Originally from She Writes.com....
Fear of Finishing THE BOOK

CONTRIBUTOR
WRITTEN BY
KATHERINE JENKINS
February 2011


My book is due to the publisher March 1st and to be honest, I'm scared and dragging my feet.
I've never been good with endings. I'm fantastic with ideas and getting the ball rolling, I slog through the process of seeing the ideas become reality, but when I get to the end or close to the end, I feel like my legs (or my fingers in this case) are heavily leaded. Every step (press of a key) feels weighty. At the end of any BIG project or event, I often go into either panic mode or avoidance mode. Thoughts like, "I don't know if I can finish this" or "I don't know if I can do this" swirl through my mind. Is there a phobia for that? A fear of finishing things? Does anyone know what it's called?
This isn't a new phobia for me. I've written about it before. I wrote about how I trained for a half marathon after college for weeks and weeks and weeks. I was prepared for the task at hand, but once I got close to the finish line I practically had to crawl over it. But the phobia goes back as far as early childhood. I was at a lake swimming in the "kiddie" section. If you wanted to swim out with the big kids, you had to pass a swim test. You had to swim out to a dock and turn around and swim back to the starting dock. I would say that the distance between the two docks was about the length of an average-sized swimming pool. I watched my sister do this with poise and grace. She swam effortlessly through the sparkling lake without a trace of exhaustion, pulled herself up on the starting dock and said, "Your turn!"
I hesitantly got into the water. I started off great. Nice even pace, clean strokes--I touched the dock and then pushed off with my feet out into the open water again. I could see my father and sister sitting on the starting dock. My father yelled, "C'mon, you are almost there!" And then everything got blurry. About a meter from the starting dock, I began to sink. I stuck my hand up in the air and the lifeguard dove in to rescue me and bring me safely up on the dock. I was humiliated. I am the older sister. Why couldn't I finish this easy swimming test? I wrote about this in a previous post and my sister commented and let me know that I did that test again and passed with flying colors. I don't remember that part.
So here I am again, a week before the finish line and I'm starting to sink. Or maybe I'm just coasting. Not sure. I woke up late, had a nice meal with my husband, took a walk, goofed around on the internet, read a few books for "research" and now I'm writing to you all on my blog and it's 4:12pm. Where did my day go?
What I've come to realize is that dreams are never quite like reality. It doesn't mean you shouldn't dream. You must dream. Just don't get stuck in the dream. Put a foundation under that dream of yours, otherwise what's the point? Dreaming and coming up with ideas are the easy part. Seeing your dreams through to the very END is the hard part. Why? Because when you dream about becoming an author or an actor or a painter or a musician or starting a business or changing careers or having a baby or getting married, the pictures of what this life looks like in your mind's eye are, well, dream-like. You don't imagine the baby screaming non-stop or the hours of writing with no human contact or the money issues or the lack of work or the economy crashing. Everything in your dream is rosy and cheery and maybe even....perfect!
But nothing is perfect. No one's life is perfect. I'm not a perfect writer. But I continue because I set this dream into motion. I put the foundations down. I asked for it and I got it and now I have to FINISH IT! And to be truthful, it's not as easy as I thought it would be. But I accept the good with the difficult and hard and crazy and uneasy and painful and uncertain. That's part of the whole package. It wouldn't be worth it if all I had to do was wave my magic wand and, BEHOLD! the book appeared. What would be the point of that? What makes a dream worthwhile is not just having a dream become reality, but what one has to go through to realize it.
So here I am at the end. I'm in avoidance mode. I'm afraid to finish. Maybe I'm afraid it's not good enough. I need another tweek here and another tweek there before it's perfect. But it is what it is and to be honest, I think it's pretty darn good. So with that, I'm going to take the bull by its horns and I'm going to face all my fears and I'm going to finish this thing. Yes, that's what I'm going to do. March 1st, I hear you calling and I promise I will deliver...

                            POTW feature

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Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
                    
Regards,

S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.

Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Women's Fiction.

Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.

Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.


Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.

Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.

The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest.

       The 2nd new book cover design for Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 2016 Authors dB Best Cover Contest.
  

My Black Opal Books Author Page:
http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis
                                           Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sjfrancis419
                                 
                 Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325
       My Writing Blog: http://www.sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com
                                  
      A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                  One for the Animals: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com
                                               Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sjfrancis419/
 Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about
                           Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j

                                         

And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

When Having an Agent Is Not a Good Thing...

From fundsforwriter.com

FEATURED ARTICLE

When Having an Agent Is Not a Good Thing

By Shaila Abdullah

In 2007, I was a new author basking in the glow of the success of my first self-published book – a collection of short stories, that had won several awards and some serious press. My head was full of ideas for my next book.


After completing the manuscript of my literary novel, I started shopping it around. Imagine my delight when several agents showed interest in it. I soon landed an agent at a very reputable New York agency with a proven track record. The young agent I signed up with was enthusiastic at the prospect of selling both my collection and the new novel I was working on. His head was full of ideas, but then came a series of “but firsts.”

The first few rounds of editing were easy until a bombshell dropped. A senior agent at the agency quit and the bulk of that agent’s high profile clients came to the junior agent who suddenly lost all interest in me. He was no longer as responsive as he used to be, and it would take him days to respond to simple requests. After a few months of dodging my requests to seek updates, he hired an intern to work with me on doing the rest of the revisions. In a few days, I received a marked up copy from the intern that involved cutting 30 percent of my manuscript – to the point that pivotal moments in the story no longer made any sense.

I put my foot down and refused to do those edits. The intern quickly backed off and the junior agent took charge again. After a few rounds of reasonable revision requests, I was promised that my book would be shopped around, except it never was. I was told it would be presented at book shows and that too never happened. After 18 months of waiting for my agent to fulfill his side of the obligations, I decided it was time to leave. I thanked him graciously and bowed out of the relationship. 

Two months after that, I sold my novel to a reputable small traditional publisher by the name of Loving Healing Press. This publisher works one-on-one with me, treats me with respect, values my opinion, believes in my marketing strategies, and puts money behind my efforts. It all paid off.Saffron Dreams which was published in 2009, garnered some serious reviews and received several national and international awards. It was cited as one of “50 Greatest Works of Immigration Literature” by Open Education Database. More than eighteen universities in the United States are presently teaching the book and an abridged version of the book is slated to come out next year.

In 2014, researchers from Washington and Lee University used an excerpt of Saffron Dreams to show that reading literary fiction like my novel can actually make someone less racist. The study was published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology. Interestingly enough, the passage that was selected for the study was one that my agent’s intern had marked for deletion.

I leave the moral of the story to your imagination.

BIO:
Noted as “Word Artist” by critics, Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer based in Austin, Texas. She is the author of five books and has designed websites, book covers, book layouts, and marketing collaterals for over 60 authors, writers, poets, and speakers. You can learn more about her work at myhouseofdesign.com and shailaabdullah.com.

Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
Regards,
S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.
In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.

   Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.         
                      Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.

                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  

                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.

                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.

                     The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest?.

                     The Second Current book cover deign for Shattered Lie was a Finalist in the 2016 AuthorsdB Best Cover Contest.

My Black Opal Books Author Page:
http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis
                                            Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sjfrancis419
                 Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325
       My Writing Blog: http://www.sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
      A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                  One for the Animals: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com
                                               Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sjfrancis419/
                           Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j


And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Don't Confuse Self-Publishing with Vanity-Publishing | BookDaily #AuthorTips



As one begins to sift their way through the thousands of Internet articles on “Vanity Press” or “Vanity Publishing”, there begins to emerge three themes, the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, the difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing and the pros and cons of all three types of publishing. Within all this, I discovered the term “vanity publishing” seemed to derive itself from the publishing industry itself, back in the late 1930s. This term seemed to be made public in 1941, when a dishonest publisher was found guilty of, not only, mail fraud, but also for forcing payment on authors for the publishing of their work over a five to six year period. Since then, the industry and American laws have changed and now the term “vanity publishing” is given to any publishing company that charges a fee to publish an author’s work. Now that we have a little background on the topic, let’s talk about the real issues.
Publishing is a business, and like all other businesses there are multiple models to conduct ones business activity. At the same time, being an author is also a business, and within authorship there are several paths one can take to achieve the author’s goals. Within the following discussion, I will break down these business models and author pathways to see the reality and misconceptions within the industry of today.
Traditional Publishing
Traditional publishing is where a publishing company offers an author an exclusive contract to publish their work. This means the author negotiates copyrights, payment method and other miscellaneous issues within the publishing contract. In exchange for a signed agreement, the publishing company will take on all the expenses to edit, publish and in many cases promote the work. If a publishing company is financially small, promotion of the author’s work may fall on the author to accomplish. It should be noted that it’s the promotion side of the industry that cost the most. Questions that should be asked under such agreements are, how long will my copyrights be tied up within the contract? After the contract has ended, do I still retain my copyrights or did I sign them away forever? Or, do I have to pay a fee to get my copyrights back? All of this is dependent on what you negotiated. Also, how much lead way did you give the publisher for manuscript changes and will your work look and read the way you intended? Things to think about!
The key to the traditional publishing method is to get a publisher to read or review your work. The problem is, within today’s industry model the vast majority of traditional publishing companies will not accept manuscripts from first time authors. This means one will have to work through a book or literary agent, which means now the author will have to find such a person, and then sign an agreement with them, for the purpose of representing their work to a traditional publisher, for a fee of about 15% of all their future royalties. This model requires the author to educate themselves on how to write a book proposal and the best way to present oneself to an agent. In the end, authors are in business, and are working for some publishing company, supplying them with written material for publishing, while at the same time working with their book agent to drum up more business.
Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is also a business which follows two models. In the eyes of many self-published authors, also known as “Indi” or “independent” authors, self-publishing is defined as doing everything yourself without the assistance of a publishing company. This means they take on the task of editing, designing, formatting and setting up the distribution of their work. Indi authors, many times, sign agreements with Amazon, Smashwords and Draft2Digital to have their work distributed; fees are paid based on sales. The issue here is the quality of work, who will help edit the book? Will the Indi reach out and pay someone to edit the book for them, or will they rely on self talents? Does the Indi have the artistic talent to create their own book cover and will it be good enough to attract readers. As several reader surveys have suggested, the book cover is within the top five attributes of a book that readers rely on when buying a book from a new author. If I want a print edition, who will do the printing and how much am I willing to pay to have that done? Then after it’s printed, who will distribute it? There are several avenues an author can take in these areas.
The second model of self-publishing is where a self-published author may use or pay for assistance in producing their work. In many cases an author can pay per activity of service rendered. That is, one can pay to have their book edited, a cover designed, a book printed, along with help with book promotion. Each item has its price. Within the current industry, this is called “Vanity Publishing” an unfortunate term forced on this business model.
The term “vanity publishing” is used because of bad actors within the industry. There are companies that care only to make money at the expense of its customers. This is done through many different methods not unique to any one company. Some will try to steal or talk you out of your copyrights, price your book to high, causing your book to be cost prohibitive in the market place, price their services above industry standards and project an attitude of, I have your money, good luck! Within anyone’s business model the old adage applies which says, buyer beware. Another reason the term is used is because of its historical usage, which has always left a stigma on this model, leaving the impression that “vanity publishing” is always inferior to traditional methods; not realizing that self-published books aided by other companies (vanity press) have made it to the best sellers list, not to mention that there are now more self-published book than traditional books printed today. But the industry is changing and “vanity publishing” is becoming part of the accepted culture within the industry, this is why some traditional publishing companies have created their own self-publishing division to help them find works they are willing to take a financial risk on. Something to think about!
Why do authors self-publish? So the author can keep control over their work, from the writing to editing to the interior design to the printing and distribution of their work. If I choose to selfpublish and build my business model around seeking help through a self-publishing company (vanity publishing), does that make my book any less qualified to be on the market? Not if I chose a quality company to work with. A good self-publishing company will allow you to keep 100% of your copyrights; they will allow you to keep anything from 50 to 100% of the book royalties after cost. They will require your book to meet an editing standard, which does not necessarily mean zero errors. And yes, they will provide you with an ISBN number that is registered to them. What does that mean? It means that the distribution networks will know who to send the royalty payments to. Then the owner of that number, per contract agreement, pays the author their percentage. ISBN numbers do not provide anyone a copyright to your work. It is assigned or registered in the name of the person who purchased it, to identify who the royalty fees should be dispersed to. Self-published authors can purchase their own ISBN number for about $125.00 each or much less if they purchase multiple numbers at the same time. Many bookstores and their distribution networks require an ISBN number to sell your book within their system. Evan Smashwords requires an ISBN to distribute your work; where Amazon does not, because they only distribute and sell within their own stores, a closed system.
When using this model it should be remembered that the company who designed the book cover owns the copyrights to that cover. If you decide to publish with someone else, you will have to change the cover along with the ISBN number. This would be considered a second printing and should be reflected as such on your copyright page, providing nothing has changed internally, except for some possible syntax corrections. But changing the cover could be a good thing, if your first printing did not go well. The other side of that coin is, if the book was doing well, why make the change?
If an author chooses to use a good self-publishing company, what are they getting? The two main things they get is a worldwide distribution network second to none and getting their book published in less than three months vs. eighteen to twenty four months. I use Innovo Publishing and WestBow Press, who both distribute their books through Ingram (the world’s largest book distributor), Baker & Taylor (who focuses on the educational market), Spring Arbor (an exclusive distributor to the Christian bookstore market) and Amazon worldwide ( the world’s largest seller of books). You also get a better print distribution network, allowing book printing to take place in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (Optional). Why is all this important? Because it can put your work in over 70,000 on-line bookstore search engines, providing a large author’s footprint on the Internet. Also if a book is printed in a country it is sold in, the ship time is less and the book may be seen more favorably by its reader. Don’t you look at labels to see where it came from? Hum, why is that? Part of any self-published author’s business model should be building an authors platform, without it, an author will never succeed.
Let’s rap this discussion up by summarizing the content of our discussion. Publishing and authorship is a business. These businesses come with their own models to operate under. There are pros and cons to each model, and in my opinion, none of them are any less inferior to the other. Why? Because business models are designed to help reach an individual’s goals, which coincide with one’s philosophy of how one wants to operate within that business. Who am I, a stranger, to tell someone what is best for them in their business model, when I have no clue what their goals are or what it is they what to achieve. For it’s that information that will determine what is the better or best model to use for someone’s business goals.
Which publishing route did you take?
About the Author:
Reid Ashbaucher was born in the United States, and holds a B.A. degree in Comprehensive Bible from Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio; an M.A. degree in Christian Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana; and has completed some postgraduate work towards a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, endorsed by Canterbury Christ Church University, England.
Connect with him on his website and on Twitter.

Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!

Regards,

S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.

Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Women's Fiction.

Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.

Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.


Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.

Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.

The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest.

       The 2nd new book cover design for Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 2016 Authors dB Best Cover Contest.  

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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.