Blog Posts

indie authors, reading, romance

One-click Christmas shopping and you’re done!

A romantic, quick read for your e-reader stocking!

https://books2read.com/u/4jWJ9D

Check out my new universal link for my novel A Secret to Forgive including KOBO, AMAZON, APPLE BOOKS, BARNES AND NOBLE, SCRIBD and SMASHWORDS.

editing, indie authors, writing

My Indie Author Blunders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Surrey International Writers Conference

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great spring/summer so far.

I’m writing today to remind everyone that the Surrey International Writers Conference (aka SiWC) is now open for registration. This writers conference sells out super fast – in 27 hours last year! I received an email this morning saying that the full and basic conference packages along with Friday and Saturday single day workshops are already sold out. That is less than 24 hours! CRAZY!

So, that leaves Sunday and the master classes left. HURRY if you don’t want to miss out!

See you there!

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Deadlines… Stressful or Inspiring?

alarm clock lying on multicolored surface
Photo by Black ice on Pexels.com

Deadlines are everywhere.”Get this report done before the three o’clock meeting.” “Chores need to be done before you go out with friends.” “Have this chapter read by tomorrow.”

They give us structure and a sense of accomplishment.

But we can’t make this easy! Throw in an 8-hour work day, errands, groceries, meal prep, catch up on your weekly shows, walk the dog, dishes, laundry, chauffeur kids to all their after school sports and activities. The list is endless.

Our goal then is to figure out a life/work balance to make everything hum along in well-tuned harmony which brings us to… deadlines.

Me, for instance… my deadline is to have my first draft done by January 31. I have 9 days left to write four chapters. Part of me is screaming, “EEEKKK!” The other part is saying, “Okay, I have four chapters to write. I need to write for this many hours every day. GO!”

Now, this looming deadline is of my own making.. This isn’t a deadline from my editor. I want to be accountable. I want to have this done as writing is my passion and I need to be professional about it.

So, what do you take from this short blog blurb? Find time to do fit everything into your life even the not so fun stuff. And deadlines may just be the answer. They work for me. 😀