J to tha M: On Marketing

Marketing Free or Free Marketing

medium_7869728560M:  You had a Release Day this past weekend – Yay!

that’s exciting-puking-scary-thrilling all at once

J:  well, it was part of an already crazy weekend, so I had no time for puking

mostly, I was nervous about formatting. that what I saw wasn’t what everyone else would see

but thank you. I’m so, so, so excited to finally get Going Under out there

now… marketing. (dun dun dunnnnn)

and, as you know, this is not much fun.

this is actually the scary pukey part for me

and I feel like I’m already failing

M:  Yes, not only a release day, which is exciting enough, but your first self-published release

J:  right

which may or may not have been a good idea. jury’s still out

M:  that’s got to be a little more like free-falling

still super exciting but super scary

J:  really, the whole publishing part was…cool. easier than I thought

but now… I sit and watch

will it catch on? will people like it? will I be crucified for not having a publisher?

it did well in its first few days. still in the top 100 for children’s urban fantasy

which is whoa

but the momentum is already slowing

and I’m thinking “too soon for free days?”

which seemed to do wonders for Wraith Enchanted

Miss Number One in Her Category

nice work

M:  Thank you! I was really pleased with the free days

J:  but there’s got to be a more…lucrative way to market

besides just giving away free things. Still, if all those people tell one person

it’s super worth it

M:  I’m still kind of not understanding how that’s not lucrative marketing

I mean, think about it

it doesn’t cost you one cent to give away kindle copies

and you reach thousands of people

isn’t that reaching beyond the goal of getting your name and work in the hands and minds of readers?

J:  oh no. I understand THAT part of it

it’s definitely lucrative in that way

M:  what way isn’t it lucrative?

J:  well, I guess that it’s thousands of people who won’t pay for that book

maybe your next one, yes

thousands who probably wouldn’t have found it otherwise

I’m on board with that

I see the marketing side of it

but the bank account side of it still stings a little

M:  but it doesn’t really

I look at it this way

My sales of both books were okay but not super stellar

and during the free days, and even after, I saw the best sales on my first book that I’ve seen since the first month it came out – even better for a few days

sales I would not have seen had the second book not been offered free

and it didn’t cost me anything

J:  now that I can see

M:  and now, I have a whole bunch of new people who have my books, who will hopefully like them and have some sort of name recognition for my next works

and not only did it not cost me anything, I gave something fun, and actually made something besides feeling good in sales on my first book, and hopefully through word of mouth on both books

J:  and I don’t want you to think I’m against free days

I’m NOT

I just try not to think about the royalties I might have earned if all those people actually paid for it and I can be hap-happy

M:  gonna be honest – you cannot think that way

J:  hahahaha

my husband makes me

i get dirty looks when I say “it’s not REALLY about the money”

M:  I’d venture a pure guess that probably most of those people who downloaded the book free would never have paid for it

so how can you count that as lost sales?

Count it as a huge positive, because now they have a chance to read your work, hopefully like it, buy more, and tell their friends

you didn’t lose sales

you gained a bunch

J:  and I know it’s not. It’s about getting it out there, getting some notice

I’m not arguing. Just lamenting. it’s a difficult balance

M:  it really is

here’s the other way I look at giving away free books or putting them on sale

I have a huge list of book and authors I want to read. I can’t afford to buy them all – no way

so I get excited when a book I find intriguing goes free or on sale

and I snatch it up, and I read it

and then, if I liked it, I go and buy all of their backlist I can afford and tell everyone I know to try them out

How many sales did they make there?

when before, I never would have had the chance to find them and try the stories and recommend

that’s a loss to everyone

I mean, some of my new fave authors I discovered that way

Kate SeRine, Kit Rocha, Kristen Ashley

J:  I’m afraid I sound whiny

M:  no, you just sound like the other side of the debate

a lot of people feel that way

J:  it’s not my intention to sound whiny

M:  probably more than feel my side

J:  because I fully understand the benefit

and can’t wait until it’s time to do free days for Oracles

M:  I think a lot of authors fall into only seeing lost sales on those thousands of downloads

but you can’t see them as lost sales – most of those people would never have paid full price in the first place

sure, some of them, maybe, but the few that might have are made up by the word of mouth and sales resulting from those reads that never otherwise would have happened

J:  another benefit to self-publishing is setting my own price

M:  yes, price setting is a huge benefit

and being able to make changes at any time, when those pesky errors pop up

that’s probably not as big of a deal to you – heh

J:  I could have asked a lot more, but I thought the lowest possible price was still really fair

M:  yeah. I just want to get my stories into as many hands as possible. I’d love for everyone to be able to afford all the books they find interesting

and still allow the authors to make some sort of living

J:  now, I know how you feel about the Goodreads giveaways

like maybe you don’t see as much of a benefit

but since mine went live this morning, more people have added to the to-read lists

maybe they will, maybe they won’t buy it

but the giveaway at least put it on their radar

M:  that’s true. anything that gets the info out there is good

J:  but it gets the book in front of even more people

because those people who put it on their to-read lists are then seen by their friends

who might also find it interesting

does it translate to more sales?

no clue

but people know my name and my book

oh

do know what has helped me find books to buy?

the lists on goodreads

when I’m on my geeky hero kick, I search the lists

I’ve bought at least five that I found on those lists

it’s how I found Ruthie Knox and Delphine Dryden

M:  I find books by word of mouth or blog and publishers sites and reviewers I trust

J:  word of mouth is still definitely the most powerful

Tiff’s reading Red

and LOVING it

I feel accomplished

M:  see

I might still not have purchased Red off my want-to-read list if Kate hadn’t offered it for free, and then never rec’d to you or everyone else

J:  but Tiff wouldn’t have read it if we hadn’t talked about it

and I know two other people who bought the series after reading my rec on twitter

M:  right. but we wouldn’t have talked about it if I hadn’t read it

and I might not have read it if it hadn’t been free

J:  nope

but you can see how both worked

M:  so that whole chain reaction goes back to her offering the ebook free for a couple days

J:  perhaps, but if I hadn’t tweeted it, it would have stopped with me

M:  but I wouldn’t have started if it hadn’t been free. And boy, did I rec it after I was finished reading.

J:  and I discovered Charlotte Stein because Ruthie Knox told me on twitter to check her out

M:  and I only bought both Knox and Stein because they were on sale or free, no matter your rec

so it’s all intertwined

J:  one to spark, the other to fan the flame

M:  the best thing in the world is to get people talking

and offering your book on sale or free is a very lucrative way to do that

J:  Talking is good. I’ll start my plan for the Oracles free days

brb

photo credit: <a

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The Importance of Professional Cover Design

Judging a Book by Its Cover

(J recently appeared on the Writers’ Collective blog with advice on cover design. Read the beginning of the blog below. If you’re interested in the rest, head on over to the Writers’ Collective blog by clicking the link at the bottom.)

professional book cover design

freedigitalphotos.net/Salvatore Vuono

It really does happen; people judge books by the cover. Maybe it’s not fair to assume a crappy package means a crappy present inside, or maybe the cover tells a potential reader exactly what they need to know: This author didn’t think enough of the story to find a great designer.

Before you skewer me, or worse, run off to look at my cover designs ready to judge, consider a few things. First, why exactly would you attempt designing your own cover? Second, how much would a professional cover designer cost? And last, just how important is a cover that reaches out to potential readers? Your answers should be: I wouldn’t, as much as it takes, and very, very important. Now, let’s consider how you can get a great cover for an affordable price.

Genre First

I write this blog under the assumption that any reader interested in this subject is considering self-publishing. After all, even small publishing houses have in-house cover designers. If you’re going it alone, your first step is to determine your genre. This is so bloody important, and yet so many cast it aside with a flick of the fingers. Write a romance novel? Why on earth would you design a minimal cover without a hint of love or sex? Penned a thriller? Whimsical fonts will confuse readers every time. Plan your cover around your genre, and you’re one huge step closer to hooking readers right away.

Check the Trends

When you’re certain you have your genre nailed down, cruise the bookstore to find other books in your genre. No bookstores close by? It’s a tragedy, but we do still have Amazon. In fact, Amazon will show you all those covers you don’t want to imitate. Take note of the images, fonts, and colors you like. Absorb the many different ways to show the very same thing. You’ll be shocked and amazed, but most of all, you’ll be inspired.

For the rest of the post, click here.

FREE BOOKS!

Because We Love You

free books

freedigitalphotos.net/adamr

Free reads. Scary and yet so tempting. Actually, we’ve found some stories, series, and authors we love by taking a chance and downloading that free ebook.

In the spirit of being helpful this week, we’ve compiled a list of a few free reads by small press and self-publishers. The list is not by any means complete or all-inclusive, just titles that came to our attention this week that we thought we’d post. Most of the links are to Amazon and Kindle, but you can click on the publisher’s page to go to their website for other versions. Some we’ve read, some we haven’t, so if you have, give us the scoop! Or if you have any to add, definitely let us know! We love hearing about new books and new authors.

Carina

Fatal Affair – Marie Force

Photographs & Phantoms – Cindy Spencer Pape

Ellora’s Cave

Stolen Hearts – Karen Erickson

Masks – Evangeline Anderson

Second Sight Dating – Marianne Stephens

Harlequin

Has a ton free, check their website here

Samhain

Temporary Arrangement – Karen Erickson

Hotter Than Hot – Tina Leonard

An Introduction to Pleasure – Jess Michaels

The Wild Rose Press

Moondrops – Sarita Leone

A Reason to Fly – Aysel Quinn

Under the Moon Gate – Marilyn Baron

Marrying Molly – Linda Hope Lee

Tempted by Adam – May Williams

Self and other Pub

A Hidden Fire – Elizabeth Hunter

The Governess Affair – Courtney Milan

Measure of Devotion – Caethes Faron

Dancing with the Duke – Suzanna Medeiros

J to tha M Have the Self-Publishing Blues

This Stuff Is, Like, HARD

self-publishing information

sxc.hu/pygment2

M:  So, I’m considering self-publishing my Ash story

J:  I know it’s been on your mind for a while. It’s not a bad idea. Self-pubbing doesn’t have the same stigma anymore

it’s still tough

and crap. After doing some research to possibly self-pub the oracles, I have a lot of respect for people like Elizabeth Hunter who do it all on their own

M:  we’re jumping in together again

J:  it’s just what we do

There are so many options, too

what used to be considered vanity publishers are now “assistants” to the process

M:  and honestly, the whole stigma thing doesn’t factor into my decision. It’s more about what’s right for me – where I’m at – and the story.

J:  still, it’s easier knowing you’ll get a fair shot

that people won’t immediately set it aside

M:  I think it’s a good story. I just don’t know that it fits into the “formula” that a lot of publishers look for

J:  it does in a way, though

you’re thinking the romance formula

which it does not fit

but the romantic thriller…yes

M:  and I’m not willing to compromise. And I think readers are not only willing to accept non-formula, they like it. I know I do

plus, while a publisher might be willing to look at it despite it being outside the norm, I’m not willing to give up a lot of the rights some publishers want

J:  it really is a give and take. They offer so many things

but they also take

M:  very true

each manuscript and situation is different

J:  My reasons for self-pubbing (or considering it) are more a timing issue, since Morning Star will be ready very soon, too

though, by the time I figure out what the hell I’m doing…

M:  exactly. So many choices and decisions

and while that’s a good thing, it’s also confusing

especially when you’re just in the beginning stages of learning

J:  There are some options for those who want the freedom but not the crazy work

confusing work

M:  yes, so many places offering packages to self-publish, and I’ve heard all kinds of stories, good and terrible

some do all the formatting and distributing

offer cover art and editing services

some take a flat fee, some percentages

some reputable, some not

holy crap

or do you just take it all on yourself and hope you learn as you go, don’t screw up too bad?

J:  that’s what I’m looking at

but whoa

there really is a lot

M:  yeah, whoa

J:  I mean, formatting, distribution, royalties, legal issues

maybe it’s worth finding a company that knows what’s going on

but then you still lose something

that tiny little piece that’s just not your own anymore

M:  or then, what is really the benefit of not having it traditionally published? Where does that line get drawn?

When is one a better decision than the other?

ugh. It’s so confusing

and stressful

I just want to get the story out to as many people who might be interested as I can

and be fair to me, readers, service providers…

J:  well, as a self-published author, you get to make so many more decisions

how much you charge, when to offer it for free

M:  I really like that part

having more flexibility in making it available to the readers

and what I find really cool is you can make changes to the published version at any time

like if you find a whoops, even after the eleventy billion times you’ve gone over and edited

J:  ugh. I hate that feeling

M:  the control you maintain is a pretty big benefit for all the research and uncertainty

and money invested

J:  it is

it’s very inviting

M:  that’s another big thing. With a publisher, you don’t have to invest up front for editing and cover art, formatting and distribution. But you give up control over other things

so many pros and cons to either side. It’s a hard decision.

J:  you know what, though? I’ve paid editors to help me get my shit together before submitting to MSP

it’s an investment you make when you want your book to be as good as possible

I’m willing to go a step further to get the rest of it right

M:  you take your chances with either, sure

a traditional publisher is not a guarantee of a good editor or cover artist, just like hiring one freelance isn’t.

but I think you have a better chance with freelance, because you have choices. You usually don’t with publishers

J:  yes. I’m often gobsmacked at the lack of editing or the terrible cover design on books from big publishers

M: so, it comes down to what’s best for you and the story.

I bet we have lots of people out there with experiences, thoughts, and opinions

we want to hear them!

lay it on us

J:  I’m afraid I’ll just be more confused

but I want to know.

M:  more info, more better

J:  I’m going to get some – more info, that is

M:  You’re so good at that

J:  brb

J to tha M Review The Elemental Mysteries Series

Four Book Reviews in One!

elemental mysteriesSince our scheduled reviewer was unable to make the deadline, we decided to post a J to tha M chat about a series we both read and really enjoyed. Hope you do, too!

M: So, that rec you gave me last week.

The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter

That Kindle is doing the job and making you read more – yay!

J: Heh, yes. Did you like?

M: I really did. Ate them up.

J:  the most impressive thing about these books is that they’re self-published

I know she works with an editor or several

M: I think the most impressive thing is the world building, to be honest

Vampire clans coming from each of the four elements and being able to manipulate them

the self-publish adds to the interesting, though

her books are a great example of self-pub done right

elemental mysteriesJ:  I really think so, too. What was amazing was that I didn’t THINK I was super attached to the characters in the first one – A Hidden Fire – but I still couldn’t wait to read the next one – This Same Earth. So apparently I was connected. And then The Force of Wind, and A Fall of Water.

M:  yes, exactly. I felt there were some minor issues with the first one – pacing, some editing, small stuff like that – but I was so happy to find she fixed those little irritations in the subsequent books

I think in fixing those issues, it allowed me to make that strong connection I wanted but just didn’t quite get in the first one

J:  Another surprising thing was how much I actually rooted for the heroine. I mean, she managed to get herself kidnapped every time she turned around, but she wasn’t whiny or weak

M:  yes, she did a great job on that balance

making the heroine strong and self-sufficient while still having human weakness in a vampire world

and then toward the end – yeehaw. B was an awesome badass

J:  Oh, and real vampire fights. Hallelujah! I don’t usually seek out vampire books, and it actually surprised me when this one was

but I was excited to see real action

not lots of worry for nothing

elemental mysteriesM: and well-written real action

J: ohhhhh

and the love scenes

the way the vampires mated and drew strength

M: mm, yes

it’s similar to BDB in that they get strength in feeding from their mates

which is a huge sexy trigger, I think

and she managed to do it very well and very uniquely in the world and mythology she built

J:  hmmm. I still haven’t read that

it’s kind of funny to see the different vampire mythologies

how they cross and mirror and then take off in another direction

elemental mysteriesM:  lots of fun things to work with when writing about vampires

but speaking of all the sexy triggers…

Giovanni

J:  oh hey

the name is enough

M:  I mean, she hit just about all those triggers and made him believable and not over the top

Gorgeous Italian renaissance man. Ruthless and unbeatable fighter. Deadly killer. Protective, faithful, loving.

and a fire vampire

I mean, come on. That was awesome.

A vampire who can control fire

J:  without killing himself

also important

so he’s specialer

M:  just the mental image she painted of him walking toward his enemies with blue flames licking all over his upper body, ready to blast them out of existence

Yep. Sexy.

elemental worldJ:  and then there’s Carwyn

adorable

and set up beautifully for his own book – Building from Ashes

M:  yes

and I love how the characters are not all purely good or purely bad (except Lorenzo – he’s a great villain)

she manages that balance very well, too

shows the real flaws like we all have and makes you cheer for them

J:  he seemed a little….dimwitted for a villain at times

but then that was a great device, too

because dumb people are often more dangerous than the smart ones

M:  I didn’t exactly see it as dimwitted, more like he let his personal vengeance get in the way of world domination

that was his flaw

I went through all four Gio and Beatrice books this past week, and am halfway through Carwyn’s story

J: Yay! Glad you liked.

M: Oh, yes. I really did. So glad I continued on to the second. I feel it’s much stronger, as is the rest of the series. Isn’t A Hidden Fire still free on Amazon right now? I need to go buy the next in the spin-off series.

brb

Book Review Elemental Mysteries

About the Author

Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy and romance author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College in the Department of English (Linguistics) and a former English teacher.

She currently lives in Central California with a seven-year-old ninja who claims to be her child. She enjoys reading, writing, travel, and bowling (despite the fact that she’s not very good at it.) Someday, she plans to learn how to scuba dive. And maybe hang glide. But that looks like a lot of running.

She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs series, and other works of fiction.

Book Review: Tethers by Jack Croxall

Guest Review by Lisa Lester

Tethers by jack croxall ReviewSet in Victorian-era England, Jack Croxall’s Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy #1) introduces us to Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson, two teenagers growing up in the sleepy rural town of Shraye.  (From the descriptions, I imagine it’d be something like growing up in Tolkien’s the Shire.  Only, with less hobbits.)  Like teenagers the world over, they long to escape the confines of their small town lives and small town destines; Karl is being groomed to enter the teaching profession, while Esther is expected to continue on in the family business.  Everything changes, however, when Karl discovers a notebook with curious diary entries, the last of which mentions he and Esther by name.  Determined to find answers, the two embark on a journey that drastically alters how they view the world and each other.  Along the way, they discover that the diary isn’t a diary at all, and each question answered only leads to more questions.  Drawn into a tangled web of conspiracy, murder, and science, only a strange gem called the Viniculum seems to hold the answers they seek.

This story was a fun change for me.  I really like YA lit, as a general rule, and Jack Croxall’s tale was no exception.  Our main character, Karl, starts off the book as a loveable rogue, but through the course of the story we begin to see glimpses of the man he will become.  Esther, however, was far and away my favorite character.  From her witty dialogue, to her take-no-guff attitude, she doesn’t just break the mold of the proper Victorian lady, she shatters it.  I loved that the author made her such a strong supporting character, rather than the damsel in distress she could have been.  She’s also such a strong role model for girls in this story, because she definitely kicks butt and takes names, and makes no apologies for who and what she is.  I also loved the strong bond Karl and Esther share, without having that romantic element; they are two friends who love and support each other through thick and thin.

I also really enjoyed the premise of this story; it had a nice mix of supernatural and science to be intriguing without tipping the balance into too much of either.  From the lush and vivid descriptions of their surroundings to the diction used by the characters, you really get a feel for what life was like in that time and place.  The prologue also gives a nice bit of foreshadowing, but keeps things vague enough that when the first chapter starts and we meet Karl and Esther, you keep reading trying to figure out how it’s all connected.  My only (and very minor) complaint was that in the last few chapters, the climax seemed a bit rushed compared with the pacing previously in the story. However, the humongous cliffhanger at the end of the book definitely will have you wanting to know what happens next in the story.  I know I’m definitely looking for book two!

Book Review Tethers by Jack Croxall

About the Book

In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.

The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.

About the Author

Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books. A YA Victorian fantasy, Jack’s debut novel, Tethers follows Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson as they become embroiled in a treacherous conspiracy. The book is available through Amazon and you can find out more by visiting Jack’s blog or the book’s GoodReads page. You can also follow Jack on Twitter or Facebook.

About the Reviewer

Lisa Lester lives in a humongous house with three cats, three dogs, two dudes (one of which she’s married to, the other one is a refugee from New Jersey) and a partridge in a pear tree…okay, just kidding about the pear tree.  And the partridge too. When she’s not working for the Man. she’s reading or killing stuff on World of Warcraft. She also enjoys nerdy things like Star Wars, crocheting, and pretty much any kind of music.

On Editing: You May Be Doing It Wrong

Why Your English Degree Might Not Make You an Editor

Guest post by TC Slonaker

on editing

freedigitalphotos.net/scottchan

I am a writer.

Even with my first novel in publication, and a second on its way, I have trouble bringing myself to actually use that title. When I am reading the likes of C.S. Lewis and Harper Lee, I hardly feel worthy to share the same occupation. But I didn’t always boast this humility.

Here’s my background. In school, I was caught in the beginning of that “Let’s boost every kids’ self-esteem” movement. I won awards for my poetry and even found myself holding a pen set designated for Writer of Year, both in 8th and 12 grades. Obviously, I must have known what I was doing. I mean, hey, I placed out of having to take any composition classes in college. Even they thought I knew it all, right?

Ha.

Once I had written my first novel, I began to send it to publishers and agents in hopes of finding someone to take on my project. I expected some rejections, having heard the stories of all the greats. No one is accepted on their first query. After 19 rejections, I thought perhaps all the appropriate niches for this book were full. If I wanted to see this work in print, I might have to do it myself.

When I made the decision to self-publish, I knew my work needed to be looked over.  You know.  For the little things I may have missed like missing commas or forgotten capitals.  Because nothing is more frustrating than reading a book and finding a typo, right?

After all, how bad could it be? Remember all those writing awards I had won? In high school? Of course, high school is not my recent past.  That means it had been 20 years since I was a student of English. But the language hadn’t changed any, so I was sure I was fine.

I had even been a teacher of English – as high as 6th grade, mind you.  And all that stuff was still pretty familiar. I have to correct my own kids’ work regularly too. Many people even hate me for constantly reminding them of which “your” is needed.

So I formed a group of my friends to be “betas” and tasked them with finding my little typos. They hadn’t gone very far when, I am convinced, God sat upon His throne, shaking His head, saying, “Oh no.  She’s really going to do it.  She is going to try to represent me with a book that looks like that.”

Harsh, you say? I wish I could show you the compilation of edits made to the very first chapter of my “masterpiece.” The work I had pored over.  And over. And over again.  I’m telling you, I read that book so much, I was even getting sick of it myself.

I wasn’t going to catch my mistakes, because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.

So, God set the wheels in motion, stopping me from my adventure into self-publication and finding a publisher willing to work with me. Since I had been nervous diving into publishing my book with no knowledge of the publishing world whatsoever, I jumped at the chance to have a professional do it for me.

After all the contract signing, copyrighting, and other business about which I was clueless, was finished, I leaped into the next phase of editing.

O. M. Gosh. I felt like a first grader, who just learned to read, being taught (patiently) all the rules of composition that I either never knew or was choosing to ignore for the sake of voice. (I learned later that voice didn’t have to break rules and look ugly.  There were better ways to achieve it.)

My editor taught me what felt like years’ worth of proper grammar, syntax, style, and story-telling. I wish I could list it all! Actually, I have been compiling a list of my biggest mistakes.  I use it as a check-off list as I proofread my other novels. It is an on-going list, because sadly, I know there is plenty more to learn.

The result was a book that I was not embarrassed to sell. I probably wouldn’t have been embarrassed to sell it before the editing, but I should have been!

Okay, fellow writers, what are you taking away from this? I’m not putting you down if you have selected the self-publishing route, especially if that was the way you wanted to go in the first place.  However, if you are only self-publishing because your work has been rejected numerous times by traditional publishers and agents, I would suggest looking into finding a professional editor.  A publisher might be too busy to tell you that his pet peeve is when someone starts a sentence off with the word, “But,” but an editor will fix it so you can experience a valued look from the publisher.

I haven’t made it as an author, if “making it” counts as selling more than 13 books. So, my opinion might not matter all that much. But as a reader, I will tell you that I do not want to waste my time on a book that is not well-written.  Please give it your best.

Tracy enjoys her life as a wife and mother of three in just outside Reading, PA. She still has a soft spot for kids and an eagerness to use her degrees in Elementary Education by using them as Director of Christian Education at her non-denominational Christian church. She has also learned to love running, and has not given up her childhood fondness of sports (playing softball and watching football). She gives thanks to the Lord for all His good gifts. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and connect with her on Goodreads. You can find her book for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the Martin Sisters Publishing website.