Loading...

Follow Writers and Authors on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid


Interview with Clark Rich Burbidge, author of Star Passage

Tell us about your latest book.

Star Passage Book Three: Honor & Mercy is a riveting continuation of my triple Gold Medal award winning series. The intensity of the story ratchets up as the Trackers bring the battle for every earthly soul to the Present Time. There is no safe space for the Carson's and growing group of heroes as they face the apocalyptic implications. The possibility of a betrayal exists and the challenge of trying to resist the Tracker’s plans when you can't see them makes the suspense almost unbearable. Certainly new and even more dangerous passages are involved. Their triple quest to unravel the relic’s riddles and combat the Tracker threat while dealing with their own personal challenges transport our heroes into desperate historical moments. New friends and old enemies add to the story in unexpected ways. It was a wild ride to write and I expect it will be every bit as exciting to read.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad or good ones?

Yes, I appreciate different perspectives on my books. I encourage young readers to send me their reviews and publish excerpts on my website minus any spoilers of course. I haven’t had any bad reviews although there have been a couple that I felt didn’t really get the book they were reviewing. I will often respond to reviewers and thank them for their insight. I especially enjoy those from my target markets youth, their parents, librarians and teachers. As an author editing and critical reviews are part of life. They almost always improve the story and help me become a better writer.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Write. Have your writing edited and apply the lessons you learn from it. A good editor may suggest lots of changes, some may be difficult to address but they will make the manuscript better in the long run as long as the editor does not try to change your voice. Always remember it is your work and your voice at the end of the day. See. As you walk through life see the world through different eyes. Any moment can bring a unique insight or new way of seeing something others view as mundane. A simple star sitting atop a Christmas tree began a thought in my mind that has now become three Gold Medal winning books. As you stretch yourself to see new horizons, new possibilities and the beautiful magic that is in the world all around everything becomes possible. Give Back. There will be many opportunities along your path to uplift others and be generous. Take the time to give back and make it part of your outreach to the world. I have done this through my “Live with the Heart of a Giant” Tour to schools, communities and faith based groups. It has inspired young people all over our country to believe in themselves, that they can overcome the challenges they face, that they are good enough to do hard things, that they have the ability to make a difference and that they are never alone.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

We live in a connected world and I have a fairly unique name so I am easy to find. You may like or follow me on www.facebook.com/clarkrburbidgeto keep up with what is going on. In addition, my book websites: www.giantsinthelandbook.com, www.starpassagebook.com and www.apieceofsilver.com provide additional background on my books, me and my event tours. Of course the best way is to spend time together is to invite me to your school, church or community groups and we will have an awesome time together that you will not soon forget. Also, my books are available in many bookstores and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound as well as with my publisher DeepRiver Books. Reading an author’s books tells you much about who the author really is.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

Because I have walked the adventure myself. I don’t write from an outline per se. I experience the story with the characters and often have no idea what is going to happen next. Suddenly I find myself with the characters in an unexpected period of history and I need to research it to learn what will happen next. New characters, enemies or dangers may appear suddenly and I have to deal with them along with the characters. This means when I am writing it is an exciting experience as if I am in the book. It also means that I can perfectly relate to how the reader will react when they read it for the first time. It is a tremendously exciting way to write and it means that when I have to stop to eat or sleep that I can’t wait to get back to find what will happen next. My readers tell me they have the same experience when they climb into the book with my characters and begin their adventure together. Real reading isn’t just for comprehension. When a young person becomes part of the book, as they can with mine, and walks the path with the characters they discover that good stories and well developed characters have the power to transport them into Passages of their own.

I love writing for and inspiring any age. But writing for young people who are still forming their opinions and perceptions is a powerful responsibility that I embrace fully. This allows my writing to help them see new possibilities and explore parts of their mind that they might not otherwise discover. I hope my writing also helps them see potential, hope and purpose in their lives that the world doesn't seem to encourage much anymore. Our young people can make a difference, they are not invisible or unimportant. They need to pursue their dreams and expand their understandings and not follow the narrow, mind-numbing stereotypes that society would teach them through pop culture. Youth need to be encouraged to see with their own eyes and learn about the great sacrifices others have made to create and preserve the freedoms we enjoy rather than blindly fighting against our divinely inspired country. There is so much to learn and see that they will never experience by following those who would teach them to be blind and deaf.


Who designed the cover?

Karl C. Hepworth is a wonderful talent and has designed the cover and inside art for my last six books. His background includes Marvel Comics and Disney and his approach is meticulous and detailed. We have used human models for many of the characters he has drawn and he thoroughly reads the books and historical time periods to get even the smallest details correct. His work is like magic to me as it appears on the page. It is not so much that he is creating the art as it is that he is uncovering the art that was already there waiting for the right hands. He has also added much to the stories through his edits and questioning regarding specific scenes that have allowed me to get the details right.

How do you research your books?

Writing my StarPassage books has created a need for far greater levels of research than any of my previous efforts. Not only do I have to get the current time scenes and chapters correct which can include physical therapy, locations and attitudes, I need to do the same with a half dozen historical settings and the real historical people involved. It is therefore tricky to describe research on my new book without spoiling the surprises and the flow of the story. (Slight spoilers) My research this time covered a WWII B-17 bombing mission over Europe, a medieval group of first responders as their town as their town is besieged by the Black Plague, an ancient middle eastern lost tomb, an iconic British colonial 18thcentury tragedy and a desperate moment during a key Civil War battle where history was changed by the right people in the right place taking decisive action. These and other chance meetings provide a diverse and unexpected series of passages for readers to enjoy. The cool part is that they flow together to weave lessons and help our heroes put the puzzles together in their own lives. Any reader that joins us will have a great ride but also learn a lot about themselves. Writing about so many different times and places requires extensive and varied research. That is part of the fun of discovery for me. History often turns on the most simple and seemingly insignificant moments or decisions. We see that at every turn in Book Three.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

My wife and I have a joint non-fiction book that will be coming out next year. We have had a blended family of ten children for over 13 years. This has been both a great challenge and a wonderful blessing. We believe what we have learned can critical to others who walk the same blended path. There is a dearth of literature on the subject and a lot of misdirection and avoidance of the subject in social discussion. We decided that it would be a great opportunity to share our experiences and more importantly the keys we have learned to successful blending. The book is titled: Living in the Family Blender: 10 Principles of a Successful Blended Family. I am also working on the first stages of StarPassage Book Four. That is sufficient for the next two years at least.

What are some of your all-time favorite books?

There are too many to list them all. I will provide a quick list of ten for your information. I enjoy stories both true and fictional where the characters must reach inside themselves and find their greatness. Overcoming is a powerful read for me. It is the personal struggle during the challenge that makes a difference. Monsters in literature can be internal or external, real or fictional. But however they are constructed they are key to the story. No hero becomes such without overcoming something. It is the monsters that allow heroes to become heroes. This is also true in our own lives. We too often see trials, challenges or disruption as overwhelming threats and by obsessing on our loss, sudden change, unfair circumstances or bad luck we lose our way. But understanding that it is these same trials or personal monsters provide us with the tools to become great changes the game. Our darkest hours then are seen in a new light as a path that allows us to become something more and better than we otherwise might have been. We have these examples all around us in history and contemporary life. When we choose to dwell on the hope and possibilities that challenges make possible it opens our minds to our own great potential and the divine that tells us we are not lost, we can do it and that we are never alone. Here are a list of books that can re-enforce such attitudes and have done so in my life:
  1. An Angel in the Whirlwind about the life of George Washington should be on everyone’s reading list. Benson Bobrick expertly transports us to the colonial era and demonstrates that if we do not waste our energy on political correctness and more carefully study the great man that had the opportunity to become king of America and turned it down maybe there is something we can learn. America is the only country that was formed by revolution that did not immediately morph into a dictatorship of some kind. One man, George Washington, was the reason.
  2. I am inspired by individuals who do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do such as the character Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities.
  3. The story of Scrooge’s redemption and his ability and courage to change is powerful as written by Dickens in A Christmas Carol.
  4. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have always been my favorites since I discovered them one Christmas morning at the age of 21. Tolkein knew how to get the reader to turn the page and fill each one with wondrous characters and a real story that pulls the reader in.
  5. The Last Stand of Fox Company is a powerful look at a desperate effort by a small Company to keep a road open so that thousands of Marines could survive during the retreat from Chosin Resevoir in Korea.
  6. Band of Brothers and many of the other stories about the 101st and 82nd Airborne’s contribution during World War II describe the unit and personal level responses and courage of regular people in unimaginable situations.
  7. Treasure and almost any other book by Clive Cussler. He has a great formula and never fails to satisfy when I need a dose of pure fictional adventure.
  8. Dunkirk The real story of how the British Army was saved should be required reading for every student. It was an impossible feat accomplished on the spur of the moment through shear grit, courage and leadership.
  9. Killer Angels Michael Shaara’s riveting story of the battle of Gettysburg. And other books by his son Jeff give us insight into the personal experiences, mistakes and miracles of these iconic moments in history.
  10.  The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. Every young person that doubts the power of faith and the existence of God should read this. Chronicles of Narnia are also a wonderful read.
  11. I have not included the Scriptures here but they are my daily study guide and inspiration. They cannot be on any list because they are in a class of their own.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I love cycling, swimming, traveling and discovering the beautiful world around us. Whether it is in the hauntedforest behind our home or on some far flung beach or mountain I find magic lurking everywhere. I ride between 60 and 110 miles per week. Working in the yard is also enjoyable. But most of all I love participating in life with my wife, our children and our community.





Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Title: Earth quarantined
Author: D L Richardson
ASIN: B07K2K7BWF
Amazon link:  https://amzn.to/2KFjNSv

About the Book:
The year is 2355. The deadly virus that killed millions of people is gone, thanks to the quarantine measures put in place by the Criterion, an alien species who appeared just in time to save the human race. In exchange for complying with their tough control measures, the Criterion promised us the technology for interstellar travel. We’ve done all they’ve asked, yet we’re still on Earth with no way of getting into deep space. The Criterion are lying to us. What they don’t know is that we’re lying to them...

Kethryn Miller is an award-winning actress, but nothing will prepare her for the role she’ll take on when a strange woman who shouldn’t be alive turns up in the city, threatening to expose the lies that have kept peace on Earth for 200 years.

About the Author:
D L Richardson writes speculative fiction, which encompasses science fiction, supernatural fiction, and fantasy. She lives in Australia with her husband and dob, and when she’s not writing, she can be found wandering in her yard waging war on weeds, watching back-to-back episodes on Netflix, playing her piano or guitar, curled up on the couch reading a book, or walking the dog.

She is the author of the 'Welcome to the Apocalypse' series and 'The Shivers Novellas'. She also conducts writing workshop and appears at Australian pop culture conventions as few times a year.

Connect with Author:
http://www.dlrichardson.com/earth-quarantined

https://www.facebook.com/DLRichardsonAuthor/

https://twitter.com/DLRichardson1

http://dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5265619.D_L_Richardson


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Interview with Honey Kasper, Author of Unpredictable: The walk in and out of darkness

What genre do you write and why?
Inspiration, Autobiography
Amazon
Tell us about your latest book.
I’ve been working on my book for the last 20 years. I suffer from PTSD and have survived the full gambits of abuse severe malnutrition, and 80 surgeries. More important I’ve went on to end the abuse in my family line and have become a successful entrepreneur.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
Social Media, website, word of mouth and interviews.
What formats is the book available in?
Book and Kindle
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.Barbara de Angelis
What's the best thing about being a writer?
Telling my story, even though I’m writing using an alias it’s empowering to have a voice.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
https://unpredictablethewalk.weebly.com/
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

The honesty, hope, story, poetry, and songs about author's life.

How long did it take you to write your book?

20 years

Who designed the cover?

I did with help from a professional designer. I painted the image and a professional designer added the words/descriptive layout.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

On my website, amazon and most online bookstores.
What are you doing to market the book?  

Interviews, social media mostly, looking for an agent.

Who inspires you?

A lot of people have inspired me throughout my life, but none would be known to others.

How do you research your books?

I used some online resources to find names of dolls or other things that I couldn’t remember.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

Self-publishing is a quick and easy way to publish and less expensive. It’s difficult to find an audience without help.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I felt it was important to share my story, in the hopes of reaching those that suffer from abuse, ptsd and etc.

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?

Yes, in every way

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

The bible

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I’m a passionate educator, painter, and genealogist.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 



Title: Ruins on Stone Hill (Heroes of Ravenford #1)
Author: F.P. Spirit
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: December 2016

Goodreads -Amazon
About the book:

Magic is easy.

That’s what Glolindir thought, until he came across his first real monster.

Luckily, he survived, thanks to his new “friends.”

Lloyd, the reckless young warrior with blades of fire.

Seth, the sarcastic halfling who might be an assassin.

Aksel, the genius little gnome whose very touch can heal.

Little did they know that things were about to go from bad to worse.

After one hundred and fifty years of relative peace, dark forces stir around the little town of Ravenford—monsters, black magic, creatures of the night.

The only thing standing between Ravenford and certain destruction is this band of young misfits.

About the Author

F.P. Spirit has always loved fantasy. From the moment he received his very first copy of Lord of the Rings back in high school, he was hooked. Today, somewhere between work and family, F. P. manages to write young adult sword and sorcery fiction. His series, Heroes of Ravenford, chronicles the adventures of a young band of misfits in the dangerous world of Thac. The last book in the series, The Baron’s Heart, is due out this fall.



To learn more, you can go to his website, sign up for his newsletter, or follow him on Twitter.


                              
GIVEAWAY:


Blog Tour Organized by:

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio, authors of The Emissary

Tell us about your latest book.
When the world collapses from a Golden Age into one of chaos and strife, mankind’s salvation lies in the hands of eternal Emissaries — guardians chosen to protect the secrets of a sacred, ancient civilization and to guide humanity back to enlightenment even as its darkest hour approaches. Marcus and Theron are two lovers bound by an eternal and unshakable bond. As a series of catastrophic events nearly destroys their world, the two -- along with a chosen few -- become Emissaries destined -- over the course of 13,000 years and through many reincarnations -- to lead humanity into an era of peace and prosperity as foretold by the Elders of their race. But the forces of evil have taken possession of one man, Helghul, who relentlessly pursues Marcus and Theron through time, determined to destroy them and ruin all hope for salvation.
The Emissary, Book I in The One Great Year Series, tracks Marcus’s epic adventure across centuries of human civilization to present day, where envoys of darkness gather around them, threatening to bury the life-giving secrets of Atitala forever. Good and evil come to blows and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.  
What formats is the book available in?
The Emissary is available in paperback, E-Book and Audiobook. We are excited to release our first audiobook. We narrated the book together and Rene’s extensive acting and voiceover background made a huge difference! It was wonderful to read the words and especially the dialogue the way we heard it when we wrote it.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Read and write as much as you can and if there is an author, or a single line that you think is really well written and resonates with you, dissect it and figure out why. Every writer is influenced by others, but find your own voice by taking the best of what you learn from others. In writing The Emissary, and our entire series, we have been influenced by classic writers like Dickens and Austen and modern writers like Rowling and King.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
Our favourite thing about being writers is the constant creativity. Even beyond the actual planning, researching and writing of the novels, the creativity continues. We try to give our readers a very personal and entertaining look inside our writing, so with our video blog, social media posts, meme’s audiobook narration, guest blogs and working on storyboards for the book trailers, we have  no shortage of opportunities to create!

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
To find out more about us and our writing please visit www.onegreatyear.com, We have begun doing an informal Video Blog for readers and writers and we hope to have weekly updates of our vlog affectionately called The Emissary’s Journey to Becoming a Bestseller.

Who is you favourite character in your book and why?
We are two authors, so there are two answers: Tamara’s favourite character is Sartaña. She is a high priestess in a conquered village who faces incredible tragedy and suffering, yet finds it within herself to return to hope and to make a difference in her small corner of the world. Like Tamara, she is a mother, and exploring that powerful love connection was especially meaningful for her.
Rene’s favourite character is Quinn. Quinn is Marcus, reincarnated 13,000 years after the fall of the Golden Age in Atitala. He’s been reincarnated an exhausting number of times, but somehow his passion for Theron and for helping humanity continues. It all starts with present day Quinn and Rene likes that even after all his lifetimes and with all of his knowledge, Quinn still struggles with the same life dilemmas we all do: finding love, keeping it, and not losing hope in an increasingly chaotic world.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
The Emissary is available absolutely everywhere in the USAand Canada: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indigo/Chapters, and independent bookstores. We have excellent distribution through Two Rivers Ingram so if it is not in stock, it is an easy book to order.
                                                      
How do you research your books?
We have been researching and writing the Emissary and the series for nine years now. We have consulted encyclopedias, books on philosophy, history, theoretical physics, alternative history, spirituality, metaphysics, geography, the internet, and personal interviews. We have traveled the world visiting ancient sites, museums and locations. In the Emissary one of the lifetimes takes place in 800 BCE at Stone-at-center. Currently, this location is known as Tiahuanaco, Bolivia and is home to impressive ruins that both confound and inspired the imagination. We believe that by visiting the locations we can truly bring the essence and feeling of the landscape to life for the reader.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Our work in progress is threefold. Book II, The Emerald Tablet is set for release February 12, 2019 so soon we will have signed off on all of the final edits and have begun recording for the audiobook.  We will be doing all of the narration and character voices for the second book as we have for The Emissary. It turned out amazingly well, thanks in no small part to Rene’s excellent training as an actor. At the same time, we are well underway writing Book III in the Series. Book III picks up where The Emissary and The Emerald Tablet end, but takes the series in a very unexpected and exciting direction, still in keeping with the original characters but exploring new possibilities.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
What if human civilization is far older than we have been taught and human existence cycles? The alternative view of world history laid out in Graham Hancock’s non-fiction book Fingerprints of the Gods was the initial inspiration for the novel The Emissary. Rene was backpacking the ancient sites in Egypt, England, Indonesia and others when he read the book and it inspired him to place characters in that world. Further research into the Great Year or Yuga Cycle in The Holy Science by Sri Yukteswar added to our story. By incorporating Yukteswar and Hancock’s notions, and  having our characters reincarnated over 26,000 years, it opens The Emissary and The One Great Year Series to endless, entertaining possibilities.


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 



5 Strategies for Setting (and Keeping) Writing Goals, Guest Post by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Writing a novel is like climbing a mountain. The trick is to break the journey down into manageable steps. Here are some strategies for shaping those steps and making sure you take them.

1. Write by your own schedule.
Many famous, prolific writers offer “best practices” advice about building a disciplined writing schedule: write at the same time each day, block off 4-6 hours, write Every. Single. Day. “Best practices?” Certainly. But most of us work other jobs and juggle other obligations. If we wait for best practices, we won’t ever write.

Instead, you need to deal with your schedule in all it’s crazy reality. Imagine your week is an empty jar. You have big “marbles”—work, classes, family (the things that matter most to you)—and you have little “marbles”—appointments, meetups, vacuuming, obligations. We tend to fill our jars with the little marbles first, and then there’s no room for the big ones. If you put the big marbles in first, you can get most of the little ones in, too, because they roll around the big ones and find their own space.

Make writing a BIG marble. Block off time—doesn’t have to be the same time each day, doesn’t even have to be every day. At least two-hour chunks serve the writing brain best, but if you’ve only got an hour here or there, grab it. The important thing is to make your writing time a priority.

2. Write even when you’re away from the computer.
Once you have your schedule, you can plan to make the most of the time when you can’t be writing. How much brain space do you really need to sit in the school pick-up line, wait in the doctor’s office, drive in rush hour traffic? Okay, so maybe the last one takes some gray matter, but think about how often in a day you’re “marking time” or waiting.

If you anticipate those times, you can prep your head to be in your writer’s space. Play with a difficult scene in your head—let it roll like a movie. Zoom in on details or pause to catch a bit of dialogue. You can also make a book or character playlist. These songs should follow the tone of a work. The playlist should reflect the character—something they would put together. Listen to the music while you’re driving/waiting/cooking, and see what it calls up in your head.

Make sure you have a notebook handy to jot down when something juicy comes to you. Or have your phone set up to take notes by voice command.

3. Figure out how you best “count your steps.”
You can think about this as crafting your own writer FitBit. Some people measure successful exercise in steps, others by miles, some by minutes, and there are even folks who literally assess success by measurements of waist or weight. Writers have the same flexibility, and you should figure out what works for you. Many writers keep a daily word count tally. The idea of tracking word count as a gauge for my daily goals sets off so many panic buttons for me that I’d be lucky to get a single word written. I clock hours or weigh progress on a scene or chapter. Sometimes I measure those by the day, sometimes by the week. Try different approaches until you find the method that works best for you.

4. Build in some accountability (and rewards).
Writing is a solitary job, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Having a community of fellow writers and/or readers to help hold you accountable can make the difference between finishing a book or leaving it in the perpetual WIP loop.

You can use this community to hold you to immediate goals, long before you’re ready to hand them something to read. Share your goals with someone you trust to check in on you but won’t make you feel like a loser if you don’t succeed. When we’re just trying to get words on a page, we need cheerleaders not coaches.

Setting up small rewards for yourself can also serve as a motivator. You get to watch the new episode of Doctor Who or eat that piece of chocolate cake, but only after you’ve finished this chapter.

5. Chuck the guilt.
Guilt over not meeting a self-imposed goal is wasted energy. It does absolutely nothing to inspire you to get back on the horse and do better next week. It weighs you down and makes taking that next first step even harder. You didn’t make your goal this week? Okay. Figure out where things went awry and anticipate the bumps in the road this week. Cut the guilt loose.

Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the author of Book of the Just, the third novel in The Bohemian Trilogy. The first book in the series, Bohemian Gospel, won the 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Publishers Weekly called it “a deliciously creepy debut.” Her second book, The Devil’s Bible, also received rave reviews. Booklist said: “Carpenter’s follow-up to her debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, is as richly woven as her first. A terrific follow-up.” Book of the Just is due out in October 2018. She teaches at a university in Nashville, TN where she lives with her husband and two children, who are desperately trying to turn the house into a model of Luna Lovegood’s eccentric home with glass beads and bells and little figures nestled into every nook and cranny. Hopefully there aren’t any exploding dragon horns.




Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 


Five Things To Think About Now You're Self-Publishing, Guest Post by Kathleen Jowitt

When I first started writing, I assumed that somewhere along the line I'd pick up a publisher.

When I decided to self-publish, I found that there were a whole lot of things that had suddenly become my responsibility, things that I'd once assumed a publisher would sort out for me. Here are five of them:

https://amzn.to/2ATggww
1. Editing

Nobody writes exactly what they meant to. No first draft is perfect. However experienced you are as a writer, you'll miss something: a plot hole that didn't get filled, a word that doesn't mean what you thought it did, a detail that's just wrong.

A publisher would employ an editor – perhaps more than one – to help you polish your text, smooth out any rough bits, and ensure that it's as good as it possibly can be. When you're self-publishing, the editing becomes your responsibility, too.

I don't mean that you are the one who has to do it. Indeed, I would very strongly recommend getting someone else in on the act.

If you don't know anyone who can help, there are plenty of freelance editors around. Editing is the one thing that makes a reasonable book into a brilliant book. It's well worth the effort of finding someone to help you.

2. Typesetting

So you have a finished manuscript. If you're anything like me, your manuscript will be a large pile of laser-printed A4 sheets, with paragraphs indicated by double returns and section breaks indicated by triple returns.

You'll have noticed that not many printed books look like that.

Now you're self-publishing, it's your job to make that 'finished manuscript' into something, well, finished.

You'll probably want to take out those double returns and use first-line indent to show where new paragraphs begin. You'll almost certainly need to compensate for a change in page size. You might want to change the typeface.

Then there are e-books. I use Lulu, which gets very fussy about how your mark the chapter headings and won't recognise page breaks or section breaks. All systems have their own quirks. You're the one who needs to get your head around them.

3. Proofreading

Proofreading is a bit like editing, but on a much closer scale. It's the checking for spelling mistakes and for use of the wrong word, for inconsistent use of single and double inverted commas. It's the search for errors that can't be explained away as 'artistic licence'.

Even if you have a good eye for that kind of thing, it's worth getting a second opinion. Somebody else will pick up the things that you miss, and it's much better for that to happen before you've sent it to print.

4. Cover

There are some great book covers out there. And there are some terrible book covers out there. Most authors can blame their publishers for the bad ones. If you're self-publishing, it's all on you.

This, I suspect, is the item that gets outsourced more often than any other on this list, and that's a good way to go. Whoever ends up designing it, though, there are some things you need to think about.

The obvious, of course: title, author. Then your distributor may have some requirements: ISBN, bar code, price.

On the back cover, you have the blurb – which has also become your responsibility. It needs to fit into the space available. Like the rest of your cover, it needs to be legible, and to make people want to read your book. (And, perhaps more importantly, not to feel misled when they do.)

5. Distribution

Or, getting the finished product to somewhere the reader can buy it. The internet has made this much easier than it used to be. My parents got into self-publishing in the early nineties, and my childhood home was hemmed in by stacks of yet-to-be sold books, and awash with packaging materials. From time to time an order would come in, which would mean great rejoicing and a trip to the post office. These days you can sell a copy of your book without ever seeing it. The same goes for e-books. All the same, if you want your book to be in bookshops, you're the one who has to get it there.

And, finally, here's one that you were always going to have to do...

Publicity

These days, more and more of the responsibility for book publicity is falling on the author. Even if you were conventionally published, you would be expected to do a lot of the legwork.

Book signings, tours physical or virtual, wheedling and begging for reviews... at least you can content yourself with the thought that your colleague with a book deal is having to work just as hard at this bit as you are.

Kathleen Jowitt writes contemporary fiction about characters who come to terms with who and what they are.

Speak Its Name (2016) explores Christianity and sexual identity in the context of student life and politics, and was the first self-published novel ever shortlisted for the prestigious Betty Trask Prize, which is awarded to the best debut by an author under the age of 35. 

Her latest book, A Spoke in the Wheel, was published in May 2018 and looks at drugs in sport, physical capacity, disability, acceptance, redemption, and integrity.

Follow Kathleen


Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview