How much does it REALLY cost to publish yourself?

Mike from Conyers, GA asked me this question a few weeks ago. I gave him my accountant’s answer: “It depends.” Well, to self-publish a fiction or non-fiction book, you need an ISBN and barcode from here. That’s $125 for the ISBN and $25 for the barcode. If anyone offers to sell you an ISBN forContinue reading “How much does it REALLY cost to publish yourself?”

When do you break the rules?

I’m a recent devotee of Margie Lawson’s deep EDITS system. She recommends that you use highlighters to code different aspects of your writing. Whenever you see too much of a color, that lets you know your writing is out of balance. It also shows your tendencies. My writing tends to drift into thoughts, action, andContinue reading “When do you break the rules?”

Seven Essential Things to Remember About Very Important Characters

I’m all for original content, but I’m also for not reinventing the wheel. I came across this blog post and thought it insightful enough to re-post. What do you think: good advice or not? Stories revolve around protagonists and antagonists and it is a good idea to introduce them in the first chapters of your book.Continue reading “Seven Essential Things to Remember About Very Important Characters”

Can you help me? My virtual book tour conundrum

Let’s put it out there. Brick-and-mortar book tours for indie authors (without a massive grassroots following) can be a waste of time. Say you can carry an event crowd-wise. Most stores want around 55% of your retail price. They ring the register, keep your money, and cut you a 45% check 30 days later. UnlessContinue reading “Can you help me? My virtual book tour conundrum”

Why social media SCREAMING isn’t the answer to your bottom line

Ever wonder why people aren’t buying your stuff? I do. From a previous life as a men’s suit salesman, I’ve learned one thing about retail of any kind. When it’s good, it’s good and when it’s bad, it’s BAD. Everyone goes through down cycles. It’s just indie or self-published authors go through it longer and more often andContinue reading “Why social media SCREAMING isn’t the answer to your bottom line”

What’s coming in 2014

Ready for a Christmas party? So am I. Almost. Maybe not so much. My blog has been an accurate reflection of my writing time once school started. Some of you know I have returned to the classroom as a high school literature and journalism teacher. In between the lessons and grading, I don’t have veryContinue reading “What’s coming in 2014”

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

So, I stumbled upon these rules, written by one of Pixar’s storyboard artists, here. Tell me what you think. (I’m a big fan of #3, #6-#8) #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. #2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun toContinue reading “Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling”

If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you

Beta Readers are a test audience for your new material. For example, in the movie The Break Up, Vince Vaughn’s character originally came out looking better than Jennifer Aniston’s character. That ending did not rate well with its test audience, so the ending was changed. If The Break Up was a novel, the test audience would haveContinue reading “If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you”

What the Nook?

To drive early sales, get reviews and create buzz, I released the Kindle version of Reject High a month early and set the price at .99 using Kindle Direct. The process was simple — I uploaded my print-ready PDF and cover files and it was on sale within minutes.  One of my beta readers and aContinue reading “What the Nook?”

Writing teenagers in love is hard when your teenage experience sucked

I write what I know. For the most part, that results in layered characters that people fall in love with or hate.  On the other hand, there’s writing teenagers, which I have to work hard at doing, especially when they’re in love.. I was TERRIBLE in teenage relationships. I can’t tell you much about myContinue reading “Writing teenagers in love is hard when your teenage experience sucked”