Thursday, August 16, 2012

Going Indie - don't whine.

Aw, Liberty Belle has had her first 5-day free session and is well pleased at the results.
So she is taking a few weeks of rest before her next promotion.
It's already started, but we'll talk more on that later. 

So what have I learned on my Indie adventure.

  • Watch the grammar. If possible hire an editor. While most have enjoyed Liberty Belle, a few have been put off by grammar glitches. Yes, I do engage in comma abuse. Am working on it. Found an online site - Grammarly which I hope will help me better my grammar skills.
  • Be gracious to all who comment and review.
  • I am excited by the reviews and thrilled that readers are enjoying the story.

Now for the point of this post.  DON'T whine.

Indie authors are often not eligible for contests, book fairs, writer groups, can't get books in bookstores etc. Why, you might ask? Well, in all honesty, there are Indie books that aren't quite ready for public consumption. But then again the readers are able to figure that out for themselves.

Don't whine.
What separates Indie Authors from the old self-published stigma is that Indie authors have made a choice. No longer are we publishing because there was no hope of getting published unless we paid the big bucks and filled our garage with self-pubbed books.

Now, Indie Publishing can be a first choice. For very little money, we can put our books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and they can sit online with the traditionally published books. 

Be excited about your book. Market and promote where you can. 

But don't whine.

In time, things will shake out. Indie Authors will come together and sites will be formed where readers can get quality Indie books. This is a new frontier in publishing. 

Hold your heads up Indie Authors and don't back down. 
Hone your craft and put out the best books you can.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Free Days are over - now what?

Liberty Belle did well in the Kindle Free list.
 She made it to the #3 spot on the Top 100 Free Kindle List.
I'm still amazed. 

Now? I'm watching the sales and library lends.
Not a landslide, but more than I have had before.

And I'm not letting grass grow under  my feet.
I started a new promotion. 
Where is Liberty Belle Contest.

Win a Kindle Fire (or $200 Amazon Gift Certificate)
See Details here:

And most importantly - I am working on the next book - Golden Dreams.
Due out in September.

Because when all is said and done with free days and promotions,
What stands is that I am a writer and that is what I do.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Liberty Belle is free today.

Thats right, I'm trying my first Kindle select Free days 
August 1 thru 5, 2012

How is going? I think good. We shall see what the end results are. 

Free Day tips so far
Have what you want to say and your links on your FB and twitter before you decide to post.
Have your FB groups and email loops lined up 
Respond to those who let you know they helped.
Keep a list so you can help them too.
Have fun.

I am sure I will learn more things as I go along and I'll let you know how it goes.

Liberty Belle is freestyling on Kindle August 1-5, 2012.
 Help her get into the top 100!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Marketing Tip #2

Easy Marketing Tip #2

Share your blog and make it easy for your followers to share it.
It's simple.

On blogger go to your dahsboard,
Go to Design.
Go to the big box titled Blog Posts.
Click Edit.
A box opens up and near the bottom is an option to Show Share Buttons.
Click it.
Hit save

Now whenever you or others visit your blog, to share with FB, Twitter of Google +
You only have to click the button.

Easy Buttons  : )

Friday, June 22, 2012

Marketing Tip - Amazon Affiliate

Amazon has a program called - Amazon Affiliate. Join it.
Then you can link your book to your website or blog and people can buy it from you.
BONUS - Amazon will pay you (I think it is 4%) for linking to your website.

Can't beat that!

It's simple to do. Just sign up.
Then you will see a gray bar above the Amazon pages for a book or whatever you want to link to.
To add your link, or that of a friends book you want to promote, you click on - Link to this page
You will get a code to put on your website.

Now people can buy your book from Amazon on your site.


See - my book, Liberty Belle, is on the sidebar.

Happy writing, Indies.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Indie's that are poorly written

You've seen them.

The good news is anyone can get their book published.
The bad news is anyone can get their book published.

So - how do we distinguish those who have paid the dues and learned the craft? And does it matter?

As writers, we are ruined for reading. We know too much and see all the glitches, head hopping, tags that would be better as beats, the long chunks of backstory and info dumps in the first chapter.

Do readers see these things?

I'm not sure to what extent. I confess, I never even noticed the ### or skipped space for scene breaks much less understand what one was before I took up writing. But now...

On Kindle, most books seem to have the LOOK option so you can read at least the first chapter. In that time, one should be able to see what the writing style is like and if it is readable.

But what I am asking, is how can we help each other?
And do authors want any help?

I would guess that most of us don't have $2000 + to hire editors.

The best thing we can do is get together and encourage one another and share helpful links.
And time if someone wants advice.

Here is something that has really helped me. Autocrit
This site will show you overused words, phrases, and cliches.  Very useful.

I encourage everyone to hone the craft of writing. Join critique groups whether online or find writers in your area. Search for a mentor. Just because you can publish your book, doesn't mean it is ready.
Join writers groups such American Christian Fiction Writers  -ACFW

Strive for excellence. (And I say this as one who has thrown in the perfectionist towel). Your book will never be perfect, but work to get it as good as you possibly can before hitting the publish button.

Let's work together to put out well written books.

Don't forget to check out Autocrit. You can try it out for free.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Liberty Belle is up and running - Now What?

Okay, success on getting Liberty Belle onto Kindle and print on Amazon. Since I chose the KDP, Kindle Select Option, I don't need to worry about getting on Nook or any other formats for now.
So, What do I do Now?
YEP, there are a lot of things I need to be doing and figuring out.

  • One - I am busy working on Book 2 - Golden Dreams - to get it ready for a Sept release.
  • I am an Amazon affiliate and need to figure that program out. 
  • Work on Author Bio
  • Set up Author page on Amazon
  • Figure out my pricing options for Kindle - I get 5 days free and need to find out which days are best. And when. Also how do I go about changing the price.
  • Of course there is the networking. FB, Twitter, Blogs. Reviews
Actually I think that is enough to do's for me for now.
I'll get back to you when I find out info.

Go Indies. Let's strive to put out the best books possible and help each other network.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Liberty Belle is up and running as Ebook an Print

Product Details

I learned a few things.
*** Do the print book first.  Why do I always do things backwards?  : )

Still have some things to learn.
Like why do I have blank pages in the book - I didn't put them there.
Will figure that out for my next book - Golden Dreams coming out in Sept.

How about you?
What have been your Indie Experiences?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Still wrestling the print version.

Still wrestling the print version.

Ok gave up on using the formatted templates.
They just wouldn't work for me.

So, redid the parameters according to help on Createspace
And it didn't find any interior errors.

Liberty Belle is now in the preview process by the 
Createspace people.

Will follow up and let you know how it works.

Createspace is for sure a top class act.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Now for the print Version.

What am I doing now?

Yes, this is my goal today. Get Liberty Belle on Amazon as a print book.
Excited! This is the full cover right now.

So far not too hard.

Createspace has formatted templates that you copy and paste your chapters into.
I am using the Kindle formatted copy in word. 
I made the line spacing 1.15
and the First Line indent at 3

Seems to work and is what the printed books I have used.

Not nearly ready to hit publish yet, but am working on it.

What an amazing Amazon time to be an author.
Stay tuned and I'll let you know how the print version goes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Liberty Belle is an Ebook

Liberty Belle on Amazon!

I managed to get the ebook up. Still have the print version to do. Shouldn't take long.

SO, what did I do?

One thing for sure is there is an information overload on putting a book on Kindle.

I may have gone through some extra steps. Not really sure.

Here are the steps I went through.

  1. Download the free book on Kindle on how to build a kindle book. This is the book I followed to get Liberty Belle safely in the Kindle.
  2. But before I did that - I nuked my manuscript. That is I hit the show/hide paragraph symbol and found all the extra spaces. I used JW Manus blog and her wonderful ebook helps
  3. Sent my manuscript to Notepad - that is the nuking part.
  4. Then followed the kindle book builder  Publish on Amazon
  5. For the cover, after much anguish and wondering just what were they talking about, I chose the large 72 DPI and used it. But first went into Ipiccy to resize the photo. And did what the book said and made the long side 2500 pixels. Don't ask me, but it worked.
  6. Then Kindle has a cool previewer. DO NOT worry that your sentences go from one end to the other without any edge. IT will look fine on the real kindle. Had to ask a friend about that one. Thought I had messed it up for sure.
  7. Now, I am reading thru on my kindle and marking any goofs in the manuscript I see and will fix the Print version manuscript before I upload it.
There you have it. Wasn't hard. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Indie Pub?

The end of last year, I told my writing friends, "I'm going rogue and going to publish my books myself." Why the decision? Many reasons and prayer.

  • What an opportunity! No longer are writers relegated to the last resort of self-pub, but now we have the opportunity for a strong decision to Indie pub.  I am excited that another avenue has opened up for those who want their novels to be published in a timely fashion.
  • Time factor.  I can put my book out there now. And will the first of next month. The traditional route - I would have to get an agent. No guarantees they can sell my book. And if they do, it might be 2014 or 2015 before the book comes out. (Ok, I might be a bit impatient, but that is a long time based on ifs.)
  • I have put in my 'dues' and  have attended the last six ACFW writer's conferences and am thankful for all the valuable teaching and connections. My writing has definitely improved over that time.
  • I also attend weekly crit groups and am surrounded by great friends and mentors that push me to continue to better my writing.
  • Why did I not get an agent or contract? Hmm, not sure. My writing may not have been good enough for them. My books too long, or something in them that didn't quite fit the house. But one thing I know, it is in my heart, and probably always was, to go independent. 
  • I love my freedom. And I find it ironic that my first book - Liberty Belle - is about a woman who wants her freedom.
  • Money. Ugh, hate to admit it but I just can't see selling my book and making a pittance. I like the idea of retaining the rights to my book and making more per sale. Would I make more the traditional route? We will see. And I know that right now, my books won't be in the traditional book store. Those are the drawbacks. Plus I understand the publishers do a lot of behind the scenes marketing, connections, and provide editing and book covers. 
  • I have to say that when I made my decision, the books inside me gave a solid cheer. They no longer have to fit into parameters set by publishers. They can be the length they want to be. They are free to be written as they are meant to be.
Am I against the traditional route of publication?  NO. I am all for the publishers, editors, and agents. I pray that they continue to do well. But the industry is changing and will not go back to what it has been in the past.

What are the cons to going Indie? Book not in bookstores, have to either do or pay for your editing and book covers. Marketing is all yours. Indie authors can be looked at as somewhat of a black sheep in the publishing industry. (Have to admit that one appeals to the patriot-pioneer-entrepreneurial spirit in me.)

For those who are honing the craft of writing, are not afraid of the unknown, and desire freedom - go rogue. Look into Indie Publishing. These are new times for the publishing industry.

Liberty Belle - Indie Pub date  June 2012

I am excited. Hope you will give her a chance and a read.

Will let you know more about the Indie pub process as I discover and map the new frontier.

Blessings and Favor
Patricia PacJac Carroll