Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot: Self-Publishing


That is the best way to start a guest post, right? Or maybe,

Hello, my name is Jack. I'm an author who is training to be a mad scientist and I would like to thank Lauren for letting me guest post on her wonderful blog.

Thank you, Lauren!

Lauren has asked me to do a post on self-publishing, Which I feel very honored to do.

When I first set out to publish I determined never to self-publish (this is why I now shout, “I WILL NEVER USE WALLACE'S SWORD IN A FIGHT!”) Things changed over the years I wrote and after a lot of research I began to realize self-publishing was the way I wished to go. But there is a lot about self-publishing people don't really understand yet – and a lot of it I got a crash course lesson in the closer I came to publishing.

Self-publishing is no longer just for the authors whose books aren't good enough for a publisher or for those who are just writing a family history. A lot of people are going with self, and are doing well at it. (Not that there is anything wrong with finding an agent and a publisher. That is what an author should first decide – because now you have the freedom too. Which publishing option would best suit you?)

Whichever you choose you must keep in mind that marketing is mostly in your hands now. Before you even finish your book you should have people interested in it. One of the best ways to do this is to set up a blog or website. Writing blog posts gives people a chance to get to know you and your work. But you must keep up on this. And you must read other blogs and comment. (Lots of work, but worth it.)

Keep things on your site professional, while still being yourself. I've been told this is a tricky feat, but so long as you look at writing as a serious - albeit it very fun - endeavor you should be able to succeed. Meet other authors as well. Twitter is a good place for this. And don't just follow and talk to other authors just starting out, meet those who are well known. I follow a few on twitter and have gotten a lot of help from them.

Keep up on the internet world. What is going on there? Is Facebook still popular enough that a page there would help you, or just get in your way? What big writers have blogs? (And be sure to find blogs which are kept by your target audience.)

Some things I also found one needs while self-publishing is an editor - find one. Hunt high and low and in the jungle but find one. And someone to help with the cover. Or, if you plan to do the cover on your own, set aside at least a month for it. (Trust me, even a month might not be enough time.) Also, for the cover, look up books in your genre. See what is popular and study their covers. If you are a reader you know, books are judged on covers and yours will need to look professional.

And remember, self-publishing is hard work. But if you stick at it it is worth it. Still, you might want to hire a support group and some cheerleaders to lift your spirits on bad days. And have chocolate always on hand.

I am still slightly new in the publishing world, but I would be glad to give hints, advice, or warn you about the next step if you need. (Also, I've a chocolate supply - I had a cookie supply but my pet hedgehog ate them all.) Feel free to contact me about any questions you might have. My email can be found on my blog, which is probably very handy. I also have a list of authors you can follow and contact - ones who helped me - and can give you a point in the right direction.

Thanks a lot for this guest post, Jack! I appreciate how encouraging you are to other writers, especially those considering self-publishing.

Miss Jack's self-published book, Haphazardly Implausible, is currently available as a paperback on Lulu or on Amazon for Kindle. The best way to help an author is to buy their work, you know!

Okay, everyone. What do you think about Jack's tips on self-publishing? Which path will you (or did you) choose for your book? There's a lot of discussion about this topic in the blogosphere. What's your take on it all?

Would you like to write a guest post for this blog? Click here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spam. Oh Joy!

It's Monday. It's the first full normal week of the New Year. I am still recovering from emotional trauma induced by Les Miserables. I thought I'd so something light-hearted and share some of the nicest spam I've gotten in the past or recently. This was partly inspired by MOV's recent post in which she did a similar thing.

I've enabled comment moderation for posts 7 days ago or longer, and Blogger's pretty good at picking up spam that way, although two spammers have already targeted my Les Mis post, probably because of the keywords. So mostly I can just look at this spam and laugh.

The funny thing about a few of these spam comments is that some of them I would keep if it weren't for their invitations to please check out my homepage.
This is the second time I've been to your site. Thnx for posting more details.
sweet blogging! keep up this awesome stuff
Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness on your post is
simply excellent and that i can suppose you're an expert on this subject. Well along with your permission let me to clutch your feed to stay up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue the enjoyable work.
What's up, yeah this paragraph is really fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

I every time spent my half an hour to read this website's content every day along with a cup of coffee.

I got this web site from my buddy who shared with me about this website and at the moment this time I am browsing this website and reading very informative posts at this time.
I think my favorite has to be "reading very informative posts at this time." Or being told that my blogging is "sweet." Also, it's nice to know that one of the spammers reads my content for a half hour along with a cup of coffee. I don't post a half-hour's worth of content every day, though, so he must be an incredibly slow reader.

Friday, January 4, 2013

When Tomorrow Comes

I was a skeptic.

It was partly because it was recommended to me by everyone. It was partly because of the wild-eyed fanaticism that people had for the story (no offense to wild-eyed fanatics). It was partly because of the two songs I'd heard from the musical. It was partly because the story was about the French, and a Revolution, and I already had a favorite story about the French and a Revolution which did not have the world miserable in the title (The Scarlet Pimpernel). It was partly because I had little to no idea what the story was about. It was mostly because I was a snob.

When I heard the movie was coming out I knew I would finally have to see it, but mostly in a duty-bound way. I suppose I should give it a chance. I briefly thought about reading the book first, but dismissed that idea. My feelings toward it were kind of like my feelings toward Phantom of the Opera, another musical based on a book, in that I would give it a chance, watch the movie, listen to the music, read the book, and then be justified for disliking it.

The movie came out and the first reports came in on Facebook.
Just had my soul and emotions ripped out, manhandled and remade in 3 hours. 
I still cannot speak or function... 
I'm not sure I will be able to talk about it honestly and intelligently for awhile. Not to be missed by any serious Christian!
This did nothing to persuade me to see the movie. In fact, it made me want to avoid it more than ever. All this over a musical about French people (no offense to the French)? Really? Why would I go have my soul and emotions ripped out? Who needs that?

But then I realized. Maybe I needed that.

I believe that most of the time the things that I avoid doing are the things I need to do the most. My soul's first defense against change is curling up into a little ball and hiding from the light it desperately needs. As painful as it sounded.... maybe I should go into it with an open mind.

After all, it was just a story, right? Whose to say that it would really effect me at all? Might as well give it an honest chance. So I sat down in my theater seat, sighed, and the story began.

The rest, shall we say, is history.

Soon I'll be able to review Les Miserables. Soon I'll be able to think clearly about all the beautiful symbolism that I found in that story. About what it really means. But not today.

First I need to finish reading the book (which I picked up the night after seeing the movie). And I need to see the movie at least twice more. Having been a skeptic, I feel like I'm a little late to all this. I want to know what it means, know what's been said before about it, not so that I won't say it, but so that I'll know more about what it means.

via Fandango
Let's just say, I am no longer a skeptic. I will be reviewing Les Miserables someday soon.
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