WRITERLY WISDOM: Donna L Martin

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***This is PART FOUR of a five part series to uncover some myths about becoming a published author. Make sure to come back next week and find out more insider secrets about the writing industry!***

 

5 Common Myths About Getting Published, Part Four
by Donna L Martin

 

So far we’ve looked at whether a new writer needs to have a degree, an agent, or a huge platform in order to become a published author. The constantly evolving publishing world of today allows a wide range of publishing paths which otherwise helps some writers, like myself, to become published authors when it might not have been possible years ago.

That being said, what ARE some of those publishing paths available to us today? Let’s look at another myth…

 

MYTH #4…LARGE TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS ARE THE ONLY PUBLICATION PATHS A SERIOUS AUTHOR CAN TAKE

 

Don’t get me wrong. I would LOVE to get a phone call saying one of my stories was picked up by one of the BIG FIVE, but that does not dim the awesomeness of finding out a smaller publisher is interested in my stories as well. I guess it all depends on what drives a writer to become published.

The chances of my getting a six figure advance are slimmer than my winning the lottery, so it’s good I’m driven by the sheer joy of sharing the worlds of my imagination with others. Small presses and independent publishers, as well as self-publishing, can help me achieve this goal as long as I do my due diligence and adequately research before submitting which is what I did after receiving my picture book offer from a small press.

Ebooks, book apps, and self-publishing are other options beyond traditional publishing available to new writers as well. Whichever path you take, make sure to check out a potential publisher against sites like Editors & Predators (http://pred-ed.com), Writers Beware (http://accrispin.blogspot.com) and Publisher’s Marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com) to make sure they are legit before submitting or signing on the dotted line.

Below are a few sites listing small presses, independent publishers, and ebook publishers which might be of interest to you.

Poets & Writers…http://www.pw.org/small_presses

Flavorwire…http://flavorwire.com/417838/25-independent-presses-that-prove-this-is-the-golden-age-of-indie-publishing/view-all

New Pages…http://www.newpages.com/book-publishers/

Bookmarket…http://www.bookmarket.com/101publishers.html

Publishers Global…http://www.publishersglobal.com/directory/media/e-book-publishers/

Every Writers Resource…https://www.everywritersresource.com/bookpublishers/

Whichever path to publication you take, remember that it all starts with a strong story. Focus on becoming the strongest story teller you can and the publishing avenues are sure to eventually follow.

Have you had any experiences with small presses, ebook publishers, or self-publishing? Let’s us know what worked for you in the comments…

 

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HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams (Paperback)

Ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers' strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

$10.00

 

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donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

 

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Life’s A Balancing Act

 

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Ever since I was a baby, I struggled with balance.

Taking my first steps.

Learning to ride a bike.

Now I try to balance three full time careers… Center Manager of my Taekwondo school, published author, and small press publisher of Story Catcher Publishing.

Some days it’s a piece of cake and other times I just want to crawl under my bed and hide. But no matter how challenging my life can get, it’ll never be as rough as the day I lost my balance in fifth grade…

I was an extreme introvert and always lived just outside any social circle existing in my small town elementary school. I was too smart for the dumb kids, too awkward for cool kids, and too straight for the druggies. But I desperately wanted to fit in, so I finally decided my best chance to fit in somewhere would be to dress like the cool kids. The only problem is, my family was dirt poor. The only item I owned that could possibly capture their attention was a super cool pair of white wedge sandals.

The shoes had a three inch wedge under the toes and a five inch wedge under the heel. When I put them on, I stood well over six feet tall…in the fifth grade…and imagined I looked like a graceful swan strutting around in those high heels.

In reality I looked more like a drunken flamingo and balanced like one as well.

I remember walking past some cute boys one day. I thought I would sashay gracefully past them and go around the corner of the school building. I don’t know if maybe it was the higher altitude, being on those stilts, but just as I got in front of them and tried to turn the corner, it happened.

I lost my balance and fell off my shoes.

Yep, you read right.

Fell. Off. My. Shoes.

In front of those cute boys.

Who immediately split a gut laughing as I struggled to get back on my stilts and slink away in mortification.

I still struggle with balance these days as a writer. Deadlines, Revisions. Even the simple act of finding enough time to work on new projects. But I’ve learned a thing or two since losing my balance back in fifth grade:

1. It’s not the falling down that gets you. It’s the staying down… so get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

2. Losing your balance won’t kill you. Might bruise your ego but you’ll live. All you need to do is take a moment to catch your breath and refocus your efforts on reaching your particular goals.

3. Learning to balance the different parts of your life or career takes time. Time that is important for you to make time for or all the various things in your life will never balance themselves out.

The days are long gone where I challenge my poor feet to walking on wedges. Now I look forward to the day when I can learn to balance my checkbook…;~)

 

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donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

 

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Labor Pains

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

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If you’ve been following my indie journey so far, you will know about my struggles getting my young adult fantasy novel, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, set up through IngramSpark.

What you may not realize is that it’s been an almost eight month journey to get this far.

Almost like waiting for a baby, especially since the writing industry calls it a “book birth” when a labor of writerly love is finally delivered.

My publishing company, Story Catcher Publishing, was originally set to release this book back in March, but book cover issues prevented that from happening. It was pushed back to May until my continued struggle with the book cover forced the release date to be pushed back again to the middle of July.

The summer rolled in and I thought my book would be released by my birthday, but new interior file issues forced the release date to be changed a fourth time. Time was running out to create a decent marketing plan, and I  began to wonder if becoming an indie author was an impossible dream for me.

When I was pregnant with my son, I had labor pains for almost 60 straight hours. The pain was very real.

Not unlike the pain involved in trying to “birth” a book when constant production problems prevent the birth from actually happening. But I’m happy to report I FINALLY broke through all the production problems and have a firm book “birthdate” of OCTOBER 15, 2018!

Now I can actually plan for the welcoming party…

 

 

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lunadar

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Who Would Have Thunk It?

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

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I’ve spent the past six months caught in a huge learning curve when it comes to publishing.  As file after file is kicked back from IngramSpark due to different issues, I have been forced to learn the finer points of indie publishing. It’s been challenging and at times frustrating, but I’m proud of myself for not giving up. I finally thought I had everything straightened out as of last week.

My book cover looked good, except for the fact it was a bit darker than I would have liked. I made some corrections to the interior file and sent it off 
Friday, thinking easy peasy…a quick approval from IngramSpark and I’d be on my way.

But of course I should have remembered we are talking about MY life and nothing ever comes easy…

Apparently now my interior file is secretly reverting BACK to 8.5 X 11 even when I’m saving it as a 6 X 9 file.

On its own.

Behind the scenes.

Without my knowledge.

So, here I am back as square one trying to figure out how to change my Word document to a PDF file that will convert to a 6 X 9 PDF file and STAY THAT WAY!!

God help me, I’ve had the patience of Job these past six months, but boy, do I need a break! Anyone out there that can help me?

IngramSpark customer service is fabulous (thanks for all your help, Theresa), but they don’t handle this type of issue on a day by day basis so she really couldn’t help me much.

So it’s back to the drawing board.

I’m soooo stressed over this!

Yep, that’s how I feel…lol…

 

stressed.jpg

 

lunadar

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

Author Profile Pic

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: How To Eat An Elephant

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

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So, the old time joke goes like this…

HOW DO YOU EAT AN ELEPHANT?

And the punch line?

ONE BITE AT A TIME!

That’s how I feel about the next step in my publishing journey. I think I have the printing issues solved (I’ll know this week) so now I can move on to the next phase.

Marketing.

For some authors…and publishers…there is nothing more terrifying  than trying to promote one’s book after all the blood, sweat, and tears a writer puts into the story itself. And it can seem overwhelming what direction to start.

I’ve chosen to look into potential book awards to see if LUNADAR: Homeward Bound qualifies for any of them. There are tons of sites out there but I’ve only listed a few below. Maybe I’ll get lucky and be able to announce later of yet another accomplishment to add to this author’s writerly resume…

 

Authors Talk About It Book Contest
http://authorstalkaboutit.com/book-award-contest/

BookLife Prize in Fiction
http://booklife.com/about-us/the-booklife-prize-in-fiction.html

CIPA EVVY Awards
http://cipabooks.com/cipa-evvy-awards/

eLit Book Awards
http://www.elitawards.com/

EPIC eBook Competition
http://epicorg.org/competitions/epic-s-ebook-competition.html

Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards
http://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/

Global eBook Awards
http://globalebookawards.com/

Independent Press Award
http://www.independentpressaward.com

IndieReader Discovery Awards
http://indiereader.com/enter-discovery-awards/

International Beverly Hills Book Awards
http://www.beverlyhillsbookawards.com/

International Book Awards
http://www.internationalbookawards.com/home.html

International Excellence Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards
http://www.bmsbookawards.com/index.html

IPPY Awards
http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/ipawards.php

Kindle Book Awards
https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/2016-kindle-book-awards/

Midwest Book Awards
http://www.mipa.org/

National Indie Excellence Book Awards
http://www.indieexcellence.com/

Nautilus Book Awards
http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/

Next Generation Indie Book Awards
http://www.indiebookawards.com/

Publishing Innovation Awards
http://www.publishinginnovationawards.com/

Reader Views Literary Awards
http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/

Readers Favorite Contest
http://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm

SELF-e
https://library-journal.biblioboard.com/?promotionId=a88e92ef-35ac-496f-9d9c-396d8c734d93

The Ben Franklin Awards
http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/

The Eric Hoffer Award
http://www.hofferaward.com/

The Firecracker Awards
http://www.clmp.org/readers/programs/firecracker/

The International Rubery Book Award
http://www.ruberybookaward.com/index.html

The Living Now Book Awards
http://www.livingnowawards.com/index.php

The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
http://www.moonbeamawards.com/

Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Self-Published Book
http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html

USA “Best Books” Awards
http://www.usabooknews.com/2017bestbookawards.html

The WISHING SHELF Independent Book Awards [UK]
http://www.thewsa.co.uk/

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) from Story Catcher Publishing ebook edition is now available at Amazon and other online retailers, with the print edition coming out late fall 2018.

An Indie Author’s Journey: The Cost Of Book Publishing

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

After almost five months of struggling to get the manuscript file and book cover files to be accepted by IngramSpark, a miracle happened Saturday night and EVERYTHING magically fell into place.

LUNADAR: Homeward Bound ebook edition is being distributed to over 20 online retailers, including:

24Symbols                7Switch            Amazon           Apple            Baker & Taylor Blio
Barnes & Noble       Bibliotech       Bookmate        BookI have Shout (Rethink Books)
Booktopia                 Ebooks.com    FeedBooks      Gardners       Glose
iFlipd                          ITSI                   Kobo                  Libreka          Libri
LIX                              SpoonRead      Redshelf          Rockstand      Vida Global          

The print edition is being distributed to over 39,000 retailers (bookstore chains as well as independent bookstores), libraries, schools and universities in the US and all around the world.

And the cost?

I did a lot of research before I started on this journey and I read about books costing everywhere from zero dollars (CreateSpace or Kindle) all the way to $10,000 or more just to get that first book printed.

Now that my book is officially in the production line, here is the breakdown of what it actually cost me to go from an idea to a printed book:

  1. Book Design Template ($15)…This is a software program costing $119 which converts my Word document manuscripts into a book formatted template I am able to upload to Ingram. I know I have at least 8 books scheduled for publication over the next 3-5 years, so my estimated cost per book for this program is $15.
  2. Ebook Creator ($99)…The regular price through Bowker is usually $129, but I got lucky and they offered a special one day so I grabbed it!
  3. Book Promo & Trailer ($34.98)…I found a company making lovely 3D promo book covers and book trailers. I bought one of each and will upload the book trailer on YouTube once Amazon loads the ebook version.
  4. Editing (Free)…I used free grammar and spelling programs. Then I sent the manuscript out to various beta readers who challenged me to strengthen the story. Finally I sent the manuscript to Steve, a Canadian friend of mine who has edited a number of novels. He was not afraid to slash and question my plot, characters, and overall structure of the manuscript to tighten everything up.
  5. Book Cover Design ($100)…I knew this poor gal’s budget couldn’t afford the average graphic design fees of $500 or more for a professionally made book cover, but I didn’t want it to look like a 3rd grader had created it either. So I called my local university’s art department and placed a free ad in the school paper. Kelly Moore, a junior majoring in art and graphic design, answered my ad and the rest is history. My cover is gorgeous and perfectly represents LUNADAR.
  6. Artwork Conversion (Free)…Kelly and I fought with her artwork file for almost four months, getting frustrated because neither one of us could figure out why IngramSpark kept kicking the file back to us. One of my Taekwondo students who is very good with computer programs, but no graphic designer, took Kelly’s file and in one afternoon converted it into the required format Ingram finally accepted.
  7. LUNADAR Map ($20)…I drew the map of Lunadar one afternoon and spent the next few weeks struggling to align it with the book template. I sought out the help from a parent of another one of my Taekwondo students and she was able to adjust my artwork to make it work.
  8. Bowker ISBN & Barcode ($29.50)…I knew I was going to purchase a block of 10  ISBN numbers for $295 and the required barcode was going to be another $100 or so. Fortunately, just when I was about to make my purchase, Bowker offered a bundle special and I basically got the barcode for free!
  9. IngramSpark upload fees (Free)…Usually they charge $49 for the print edition and $25 for the ebook edition but this year is their five year anniversary. They are offering free title setup fees through the end of July.
  10. Copyright fees ($40)…The only thing I have left to do is file for the copyright and my book will be officially born!

Total cost for everything from start to finish is $338.48 to bring LUNADAR: Homeward Bound to the marketplace. Yes, I could have gone the freebie route, but I wanted the best quality product I could afford to produce and it was a personal challenge to see if I could do it.

Only time will tell if the world thinks I did a satisfactory job…

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

 

 

donna

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition by the summer of 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Perfect Timing

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

This week has been an incredibly busy, frustrating one. My full time job of running a martial arts training facility kept me occupied for at least ten hours each day, Monday through Friday.

I then went home and  put on my publisher’s hat to do battle with trying to upload my book cover to IngramSpark’s website. But every time I tried to upload it, Ingram kept kicking it back, saying  the file itself was not acceptable.

My very talented cover designer, Kelly Nicole Moore, worked tirelessly (even from another state while visiting her family this week ) to address each error message. First she changed the size of the finished file. Then she changed the type of artwork file she used. It seemed every time she sent me a new file to upload, Ingram would find yet another issue preventing them from moving forward with my production schedule.

Writers who only choose traditional publishing may never get to see the “behind the scene” struggles a publisher has to go through just to push their current project to the next level. Self-published authors get to see it all, have their hands in all levels of creation, and are at the front of the line when it comes to frustration over production delays.

My lowest point came yesterday after Kelly sent me yet another book cover version to try.  She was at the point that if her latest effort didn’t work, we would be dead in the water until a miracle came along…or I learned how to use Adobe Acrobat.

Then it happened.

The clouds of doom drifted away, the heavens opened, and an angelic chorus announced the latest file was accepted by IngramSpark! Well, that’s what it felt like when I FINALLY got a thumbs up approval for Kelly’s artwork file and LUNADAR has now gone on to the proofing process. I even managed to find an online coupon I used to waive IngramSpark’s $49 set up fee so it didn’t cost me a penny!

I’m now crossing my fingers…and saying a few prayers…that IngramSpark won’t come across any other issues before moving forward to my print edition release date of 9/27/18.

I’m still having some issues with the ebook formatting but have someone looking at that as well, so hopefully it will all come together soon.

I just need to say thank you, Kelly, for all your hard work and for believing in LUNADAR.

LUNADAR full cover.jpg

So what do YOU think? Did she do a great job on my book cover, or what? Let me know in the comments below…

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition by the summer of 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.

 

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Round Two?

 

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

I’m about to start round two…or is it three…or four? I’ve almost lost count. I have been trying different ebook formatting software, but none seem to be giving me the results I’m looking for.

And even though I have a brand new computer, my internet connection is still pretty basic so I’m running into problems trying to download Kindles ebook software. And every time I try to convert my manuscript into an ebook, the sentences get all messed up…breaking apart into some weird formation…and the end result is more like a scrambled jigsaw puzzle instead of an actual readable story.

So, here I am…still in the fight…with a few more bumps and bruises…but still fighting…

Wonder what this next round will bring? Say a little prayer for me, will ya?

Cuz, I’m diving in once again to this indie author publishing process…

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition by June 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.

 

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: One Fishie, Two Fishie, I’m a Little New Fishie

 

fish

 

 

In the publishing world, it’s a wonderful, big fishie meet little fishie world out there. And all us new little indie fishies need to remember three things if we don’t want to get eaten:

 

1. Pay attention when the bigger fishies talk.

 
Why do you think a Granddaddy catfish lives in the pond so long? Because he took the lessons of other catfish before him and paid attention to what they had to say. I need to do my own research, seeking out the wisdom of those who have traveled the indie publishing path before me. Gather those like-minded fishies around me so we all might encourage each other in this big old writing pond we are all swimming in.

 

2. Practice your shark roar daily.

 

Don Knotts once played a cartoon fish character in the movie, The Incredible Mr. Limpett. I LOVE that movie. Don Knotts’ character falls into the water and the humans think he drowned. But he magically turns into this cartoon fish having grand adventures despite his timid nature. Surrounded by sharks, torpedoes, and bigger fish, he has to learn to have confidence in his ability to survive in his new environment. One day he surprises himself, and everyone else, by emitting a huge ROAR, eventually helping the Navy win a battle. As a new little indie fishie in this big publishing pond, I need to practice my own “shark roar” daily. A roar of confidence to remind me that I CAN do this, that I CAN be a successful small press publisher as long as I continue to practice my publishing skills daily.

 

3. Just keep swimming.

 

Dorie from Finding Nemo had it right. No matter what, just keep swimming. That poor, little fish had many obstacles placed in front of her but she never gave up. At my TKD school, we call that perseverance. Old cowboys would call it true grit. Whatever you want to call it, we all know what it feels like to keep running into those walls…deadlines, harsh critiques, self-doubt…what ever it may be…and that’s when life culls the tetras from the sharks. Dorie never listened to anyone who wanted to bring her down by telling her she wasn’t good enough. Dorie didn’t stop believing when she was told she didn’t know how to speak “whale”. Despite all the obstacles set before her, Dorie knew just what she had to do and she simply did it…she kept on swimming until she was successful…until her personal goal was reached and Nemo was found.

 

What else could be asked of us but to not give up on ourselves? I might be a new, little indie fishie now in a great big pond, but if I pay attention to the other indie fishies when they talk, practice daily my own shark roar, and just keep swimming, one day I’ll be able to look over my shoulder at other little indie fishies looking up at ME with the same look of wonder I have now and there is one thing I will be sure to tell them…

 

Swim, little indie fishies, swim.

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.

 

 

An Indie Author’s Journey: Editing & Accounting

correcting

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

I’ve finished all the first level revisions of LUNADAR so now it’s time for…

 

STEP FOUR: EDITING AND ACCOUNTING

 

After finishing the first draft, I set my manuscript aside for a few weeks before starting any revisions. I needed time and distance away from LUNADAR so I could look at it with fresh eyes and a new perspective. But after revising my story as far as I could go, there still comes a point when someone with more editing experience needs to look at it.

Professional editing services vary depending on what type of editing is needed. Basic proofreading averages $1,200 or more for a 100,000 word manuscript, with copyediting averaging over $2,000, and developmental editing costing up to $9,000 or more.

What’s a poor gal to do?

I started out running my manuscript through the basic editing algorithm for Word and then ran the story again through Grammerly’s free program (www.grammarly.com). I then requested the help of beta readers to work on the developmental editing arena. Finally, I received the special help of a friend of mine who offered to line edit my manuscript for free. I’ve known Steve for over ten years and with him having a background of reading and editing numerous fantasy novels, I felt confident he would be able to point any plot holes needing filling.

End result, LUNADAR went through an advance edit for FREE. For this poor gal’s budget, FREE allows me to focus my limited finances on other areas while still focusing on providing the strongest story line I can.

I also set up my basic accounting for Story Catcher Publishing to keep track of any business expenses related to my writing and publishing work. Again, I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a bookkeeper familiar with small buisness requirements so she was able to provide information on setting up my EIN as well as what I should be tracking for end of year taxes. Here are the areas I track:

  1. Contract Labor…fees I’m paying for book cover design and illustrations.
  2. Office Supplies…paper, pens, ink, toner, tape, folders, envelopes, etc.
  3. Advertising…business cards, flyers, postcards, banners, etc.
  4. P O Box fees…I use a post office box for my business mail.
  5. Utilities…I have a separate office as well as a secondary desk in my livingroom so a portion of my utilities can be written off.
  6. Office Equipment…my new computer, printer, filing cabinet, etc.
  7. Interest…any interest on my credit cards where I make business purchases, or a portion of mortgage interest can be written off.
  8. Event Expense…any entrance fees or rentals to attend community festivals, book fairs, book signings, etc.
  9. Professional Fees…my fees for SCBWI, CBI, industry magazines, seminars, workshops, etc.
  10. A T & T…internet fees.
  11. Repairs…a portion of home repairs when in relation to my business office.
  12. Book Donations…costs of books donated to school or public libraries, book fair giveaways, and donations to community groups.
  13. Car Repairs…portion of repairs due to traveling to events, meetings, etc.
  14. Mailing Fees…stamps, money order fees, shipping expenses, etc.
  15. Car Insurance…portion of car insurance in relation to business travel.
  16. Car Tags…portion of car tag expense in relation to business travel.
  17. Tax License…any business tax fees.
  18. Mortgage…portion of mortgage in relation to business office.
  19. Software…all formatting, editing, book design, or other publishing software program costs.
  20. Other…anything business related not covered under any of the other areas like mileage, gas, travel expenses, etc. that I haven’t generated enough yet to warrant setting up a separate file.

At the end of the year my friend has also offered to look over my taxes to make sure I’ve filled out all business forms like Schedule C correctly. This will greatly reduce or even eliminate tax preparation fees which puts a smile on this gal’s face!

Next week I’ll share how I went about choosing a quality book cover on a poor gal’s budget!

Author Profile Pic

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is schedule to be released in the fall of 2018.