Thursday, March 8, 2018

Crafting an Indie Book Trailer, Part Three


by T G Campbell


Part Three: Script and Storyboard.


I’m not a scriptwriter. I want to make that absolutely clear from the start, in case you were thinking I was some sort of Goddess with miraculous writing abilities. I write novels and short stories. As those who’ve attempted to write a book and a screenplay can attest, they are two very different beasts. In addition to dialogue and descriptions, a screenplay must also take into consideration camera angles, sound effects, musical scores, locations (both interior and exterior), lighting, costumes, etc. For me, the hardest part of writing a script for my book trailer was getting into the mindset of a screenwriter in the first place. I wanted to write a highly developed scene like in one of my books, rather than a condensed version to fit within the space of three minutes.

Part of my difficulty came from a desire to promote the entire series of Bow Street Society books/short stories. At the time of writing, there are two books and a collection of five short stories published. Any attempt to fit such a wealth of material into a three-minute book trailer was always destined to fail. I was trying to plan the trailer with the idea of “reusability” in mind. If I could make a trailer for the series—rather than just one book—then I could keep it as part of my marketing plan indefinitely. For the sake of practicality, and my own sanity, I chose to concentrate on the first book in the series: The Case of The Curious Client. As this would be the point at which most readers would be introduced to the concept of the Bow Street Society, I thought the reusability of the trailer would still be quite high.

Another stumbling block in my thought process was cost. One draft of my script featured real-life London streets in the dead of night with 6-8 characters from my book making an appearance. If I were to go along with this script, I’d have to consider: fees for the 6-8 actors, the hiring fees for 6-8 costumes, the cost of hiring lights suitable for outdoor use, the cost of (potentially) closing a public highway, and the cost of any filming permits I may have had to acquire. Needless to say, this draft was abandoned pretty sharpish.

I’m fortunate enough to work with someone who has his own freelance scriptwriting business. He’s been a tremendous help to me during this entire process. He’s the one who suggested I create a storyboard alongside the script. He explained it would enable everyone involved to visualise what it was I was trying to achieve. I, therefore, wrote a (very) rough next draft of my script (constructed using actual scenes from my book) and created a storyboard. Just the process of drawing that—albeit crude—storyboard helped me to condense my script down further by taking unnecessary parts out, switching parts around, and generally discussing the overall order with my other friend, Karen.

It was during this storyboard creation session that I decided to take advantage of Victorian-era style drawings for the main part of the trailer. Drawings are more cost effective than live action, and the segment (a recollection of past events) lends itself to a drawn sequence. In order to enhance the quality of such a sequence, though, I included zooming and panning camera angles in my storyboard notes. I also stressed the significance of light and shadow in the drawings, to help create the dark, sinister mood of a Victorian-era murder mystery. After creating the crude storyboard, I then re-created it with my notes, alongside a new draft of my script so the two would marry. I decided the beginning and end segments of the trailer would be live action, still, but would only have 2 characters featured: Miss Rebecca Trent (the Bow Street’s Society clerk and therefore a pivotal character in the entire series) and an unnamed journalist interviewing her.

Since creating the storyboard and script, I’ve had the illustrations created by my usual artist, Peter Spells, who created the central cover art for all my books. Rather than keeping with the style of those, he emulated the pen and ink style of Victorian-era drawings. I’ve included one of the drawings below as an example. The script has also undergone some minor changes; mostly to include more of an overview of the plot so as to leave the audience wanting more. At the time of writing this, the script is with a voice-over artist who I’ve hired to read it out.

The most important thing to remember is your storyboard and script is fluid documents. You don’t have to get them 100% right from the beginning. As more people are brought onto the project—cameraman, voiceover artist etc.—you’ll all make small changes, to both the storyboard and script, with the aim of enhancing the final trailer. Utilise their expertise and always bear in mind what it is you’re trying to do with your trailer. It’s not a feature-length film, but a brief, visual representation of your product (the book), designed to convince the viewer to part with their hard-earned cash. Unfortunately, people won’t always buy your book simply because you’re an independent author. You have to prove to them, by showing them, why YOUR book is different to everything else that’s on the market.

For those who are unsure about the (sort of) format your script should be in, I’ve included a screenshot of part of my script below:
NEXT TIME: CREATING AN INDIE BOOK TRAILER Part Four: Choosing a location


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Creating an Indie Book Trailer, Part Two


by T G Campbell


Part Two: The Power of Networking.


“It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know that counts,” is a phrase often muttered under our breath whenever we perceive the success of others as a result of their friend’s/partner’s/relative’s assistance. The perception usually leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth—especially if one doesn’t have the same access to these individuals as the other person. We may feel disillusioned with—or even cheated out of—our dreams and ambitions because we’ll never have the same advantages. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I’m not going to patronise you by saying some individuals aren’t given unfair advantages over their peers due to help from a relative etc. Rightly or wrongly, these things do happen but, if you’re truly honest with yourself, you’d probably agree you’d accept such assistance if it meant getting ahead of the competition. I, therefore, want to leave this way of thinking here and politely request you do the same. This blog entry isn’t about the help we can’t get from others, but the help we can.


In part one I talked about creating a blockbuster book trailer on a restricted, financial budget. A large part of being able to do this is to enlist the help of others who are willing to offer their services either for free or at a reduced price. That being said, you have to remember we are all trying to make a living. You, therefore, can’t demand someone gives you their service for free. You may make a request, though, and offer a product/service of your own in return. On a very basic level, this may be an entry into your trailer’s final credits, accompanying description, and promotional material. By doing this, you’ll be offering the potential contributor free exposure to them and their business.


Personally, I think it’s sound business practice to always offer this reward to your contributors, regardless if you’re paying them or not. Aside from being the proper thing to do (you should never take credit for another’s work), you’re creating a solid working relationship with that contributor so you may draw upon their services/products again in the future. Put simply, it’s the old adage of “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”. This principle is at the heart of all business networking activity. At the end of the day, you are a business and your books are your products. So, you should treat all your activities with professionalism and care.


If you’re rude, defensive, deceptive, or devious, or make unreasonable or impractical demands/slander a contributor’s name on your social media platforms, no one will want to work with you. Others—who you’ve yet to contact—may witness your behaviour first hand on social media and run a mile. Likewise, most creatives in the industry (regardless of their business type or profession) know one another. Even if they don’t communicate directly with each other, rumours about unprofessionalism and personal attacks can spread like wildfire. (Look at the situation with Terry Goodkind that is happening right now, for example. -G Dean Manuel) So, even if you decide not to hire a potential contributor because you think their prices are too high, etc., decline their offer as politely, and as professionally, as possible. Never make it personal.


Returning to my earlier point about what you may offer to a potential contributor, I think it’s always wise to throw into the mix something no one else can offer. Remaining within the realm of professional business practises, you could consider offering a free interview on your blog, or a feature in your newsletter (dependent on how many subscribers you have). I write a monthly feature for Fresh Lifestyle Magazine, in addition to my books and short stories. The magazine has 400,000+ subscribers, and all features are left, permanently, on the magazine’s website. I will, therefore, offer a free interview/feature to potential contributors when negotiating prices for their service.


As a side note, I’d always recommend you don’t state your financial budget in initial correspondence to potential contributors. In your initial email, always explain who you are, which product/service of theirs you’re enquiring about, which additional (non-monetary) rewards you can offer, and what you intend to use said product/service for. Then request a quote based on the information you’ve given. If the potential contributor is interested, they’ll reply with the price they think their product/service is worth. If you then decide to decline the offer, you have no reason to clarify your exact budget. If you decide to try and negotiate on the price, then you could state your budget but I still think it unnecessary. The most important thing is to keep your response professional and not beg for the product/service to be given for free/at a reduced price simply because you’re an indie author and you’re poor. A simple “is there any room for negotiation in your prices, given the additional exposure I may give you?” should suffice. If the response is a no, then politely thank them for their time and inform them you shan’t be hiring them on this occasion.


s When trying to find potential contributors, it’s always wise to ask around. Facebook friends, Twitter followers, fellow authors, relatives, work colleagues, and partners are excellent resources to draw upon. Twitter followers, especially, may provide you with the names of potential contributors you’d never considered before. Unknown/fledgling artists, composers, voice over actors, and editors, etc., are more willing to give their service/product for free/at a reduced fee provided you give permission for them to use the finished product on their showreels, websites etc. Websites like www.fiverr.com and www.fivesquid.com are also good starting points, as there’s already the expectation of a low fee between both parties. I’ve recently been researching voice over actors for my book trailer on www.fivesquid.com. They’re still professionals, but their fees won’t break the bank—provided I contact them through the website, of course.


Always be wary of charlatans when researching potential contributors. When they have given you a quote for their service, ask yourself “is it value for money?” Research industry pricing standards to give you a yardstick to compare the quotes against. Check the websites of potential contributors, but don’t accept what’s written at face value. Look up non-biased, independent reviews from past customers, fellow industry professionals, etc. about the potential contributor; are there any negative reviews? How relevant are the reviews to your project? How up-to-date is the potential contributors’ website? How recent was their last job? You may have thousands in your book trailer’s budget, but that doesn’t mean you should spend money like it’s going out of fashion.


Finally, think outside the box when researching potential contributors. I have a local museum with a Victorian-era parlour permanently set up. I need a Victorian-era interior for my book trailer. Rather than hiring/buying expensive antiques, therefore, and/or building my own set, I contacted the museum about hiring theirs. At the point of writing this, they’ve agreed for me to hire it for free—even if I require it out of hours. They also offered two more interiors, should I need them.


At the end of the day, there’s no harm in enquiring after a quote for your costumes, editing, original music, locations, etc. from potential contributors and/or local businesses. They may be too pricey, they may decline, or they may just surprise you and offer their product and service for free/at a reduced cost. You won’t know for sure, though, until you ask and, remember, keep it professional!


NEXT TIME: CREATING AN INDIE BOOK TRAILER Part Three: Script and Storyboard.


T G Campbell is a crime novelist that resides in Modern Day England, though she'd probably wanted to have lived in Victorian London. She is best known for her Bowstreet Society mysteries. You can find out more about T G here.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Not Your Daddy's Undead! (Possibly Your Great-great-great-granddaddy's Undead!)


by G Dean Manuel


Have you noticed that only some undead beasts are ever represented in any meaningful way? Vampires, of course. You can't spit without hitting someone writing a vampire story. Zombies are popular. But what about variety? Shouldn't we see more undead than the few that are represented on the big screen or the pages of a book? Here are a few that I think we should give a resurgence to:




  • Banshee- the wailing woman. A banshee's keening denotes the death of a family member. Several banshees keening foretells the death of someone particularly important or holy. A banshee's wailing can also warn that death is likely from a current endeavor.

    Why are these creatures feared? They warn us against bad happenings. Now modern retellings say that hearing a banshee's keening leads to death. Older tales don't support this. Banshees, while called fairy, banshee literally meaning “woman of the fairy mound”, are not technically fairies. They are the ghosts of women who have: a.) died in childbirth b.) have been murdered. Some banshees have been known to attach themselves to family lines, particularly those of Milesian stock (those whose names begin with O' or Mac'). Here are some ideas for stories with banshees:

    You have never seen your family banshee in such a state. Something has made it go absolutely bonkers. It didn't even act this way when Gran died.

    You are visited nightly by a woman that looks upon you sadly and wails such a heartbreaking tune. You know that she is trying to warn you about something but you can't for the life of you figure out what.

    You must gather up the sisters for a most hated duty. The Bishop has died. You and your sisters must keen his lament. But one refuses to go. A dark secret is revealed.




  • Dullahan- is a headless horseman! And you thought it was just a story by Washington Irving. Dullahans are members of the Unseelie Court. In fact, they were created by the court. They are either human or fey sacrifice. Heads are lopped off by golden ax and through rituals turned into a Dullahan. Such creatures typically ride a black horse and are followed by a wagon filled with accouterments of death. Their heads are said to be the consistency and color of moldy cheese and bear a ghastly, idiotic grin from one side to the other. They hold them under one arm, with mouths constantly working and eyes continually searching the night.

    It is said that there is no way to bar a road against a Dullahan and wherever a Dullahan stops, someone will die. Usually, they stop and say a person's name and that person drops dead on the spot. Here are some story ideas that include Dullahan:

    What if a Dullahan kills a person only to find out it killed the wrong person? Crazy antics ensue as they try to rectify their mistake!

    An opportunistic mage is using a Dullahan as an unwitting assassin. Altering its assignments and giving it names of people that he would like dead.

    A woman is visited by a Dullahan. She breaks down and tears and thanks him. He doesn't know what to do.


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  • Lich- A lich is a creature of such indomitable will that its life continued on to undeath. A lich can be almost anyone in life but is normally a person of arcane power. Sorcerers and warlocks. Through arcane rituals or demonic deals, they beat death itself and live on as a lich. Liches are commonly seen as commanders of hordes of undead minions. As such they make a great antagonist for stories! What are some ideas?


    A young man finds a broach in an open-aired market while on a trip to Dubai. He intends to give it to his girlfriend as a gift. Unknown to him, it is actually a lich's phylactery (a receptacle for the lich's lifeforce). The lich will stop at nothing to recover the phylactery.

    Does a lich always have to be mad? I say no. A family suffers from a terrifying curse that is passed upon the death of one cursed to the youngest living relative. To stop the curse, one member becomes a lich, so that there is no true death.

    An ancient evil arises in the land and the only person with information needed to stop the creature is the man who was around the last time he was here but he may be just as evil as it. The MC must deal with a lich to find out how to defeat the ancient evil.




  • Wights- or revenant. Or a host of other creatures. From the draugir of Norse mythology to the barrow wights of the English myths, these are creatures of fascinating legends and dark curses. A wight is a creature brought back from death to fulfill some action. Be that to guard a barrow or tomb, to hunt down a murderer, etc... These creatures are undead killing machines. Don't get these confused with ghouls or other undead, that hunt humans for sustenance. Wights don't require sustenance. They are driven by an unholy need to fulfill their goal. They have wide and varied looks, but most are the desiccated corpse of once living, reanimated flesh. Barrow-wights might come with old armor and weapons. Here are some story ideas:

    Using the revenant aspect, the returned, the undead returns to seek vengeance upon those who killed it and its son.

    A barrow wight guards the tomb of its once-beloved lord through eternity. Can bonds of duty and love hold against the inexorable trudge of time?




  • Black Dog- Legends of black dogs originated in the British Isles. These dogs are described as spectral or demonic, larger than a normal dog, and having glowing eyes. They are almost always thought of as harbingers of death, even when they are thought of benevolently. This could be due to the fact that dogs have been seen as guardians of the Underworld for some time. Look at the different depictions of dog-like beings in such a position: Anubis(Egyptian), Gramr(Norse), and Cerberus(Greek. Sometimes they are associated with the Devil.


    You can find them in a modern day setting on Supernatural, where they are called either black dogs or hellhounds. Here they work directly for Hell and come to collect souls from those who have made demon deals. In this instance, they are invisible unless you are being hunted or you have magical means with which to view them.

    You can find them in literature in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Spoilers ahead. Now, while the hound in question was not a black dog, Doyle made use of the legend in the setting up of the murder.

    So, what can we do to revitalize the black dog?

    Well, you could use a black dog in a humorous way. They were known as familiars to witches and warlocks. What if a young witch had a pony-sized black dog as her familiar? Called him Fluffy?

    How about black dogs as part of an Underworld Spirit Retrieval Unit? That could be fun.They track down rogue spirits that have found ways to escape the Underworld and seek to bring them back into custody.

    What about a black dog as a central figure? What if, for the purpose of the storyline, is the spirit of a dog that died after some form of torment or abuse. The black dog is sent to collect the soul of someone who it once knew. One of its abusers. But when there, it sees the abuser's son who had been its only friend on the mortal plane. Decides to befriend the boy and break the cycle that got it trapped into an eternity of collecting souls for the Underworld.


Are there undead that you think should be on this list? Leave a comment and tell me and maybe I'll write them up in a future article!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Creating an Indie Book Trailer, Part One

by T G Campbell


Time and time again, I’ve heard comments along the line of “being a successful independent author is 10% writing and 90% marketing”. It’s true that, as independents, the responsibility of getting our books, short stories, poems et cetera in front of the people who matter—the readers—is completely our own. Often, we have non-existent—if not very limited—financial budgets, and time restrictions which have tremendous impacts on our marketing potential. Consequentially, there’s a temptation to go “cheap but cheerful” in our marketing material. We assume—rightly or wrongly—our audience will forgive the lower quality on account of us being independents. Being without the backing of a giant publishing house, or even a reputable agent, we feel like it’s us against the world, and so rely on this rebel-like image as an excuse if something goes wrong. I say this because I’ve been guilty of doing the same in the past.


When it came to creating an original trailer for my Bow Street Society book series, I started by looking at existing trailers in my genre. I found trailers by authors belonging to the big five publishing houses. Naturally, these were big budget, movie-like epics which left the viewer breathless and wanting more. They were slick, impressive, but also looked very expensive. Nonetheless, I emailed a production company listed as a producer on a YouTube book trailer. The trailer featured locations, characters, and book set in the same era as my own—Victorian London. All I requested from the company was a quote regarding the cost of hiring them to create a book trailer for me. I didn’t receive a reply. I can’t prove their lack of response was due to the fact I’d told them I was an independent author, but the rebel in me said this was probably the case.


Never mind. I returned to the other book trailers I’d bookmarked on YouTube, and watched them for the tenth time. With the exception of two or three, the majority were of PowerPoint slideshows depicting stock images and/or stock music. The fonts were difficult to read and/or inappropriate for the book’s genre, e.g. Comic Sans, and the music was also ill-fitting. I understood why the creator had done what they’d done though: PowerPoint is cheap. In comparison to filming original content, having professional photographs taken, and a composer create an original music score, the resources used were cheap, too. We’re back to the issue of low budgets and/or time restrictions, again. Unfortunately, the end product looked—at least in my humble opinion—“cheap and cheerful”. It didn’t compel me to buy the book, or even visit the website.


All becomes the same cookies over and over again!
There’s also another pitfall to be considered when using stock images and/or stock film: anyone can use them. While there’s certainly a valid argument for using stock resources (they’re cheap, and it’s what you do with them that counts), you’re still running the risk of having the same content as 500 other authors. This was the main reason why I chose not to use stock images, film, and/or music in my trailer.


I also chose not to use PowerPoint. Like everyone else, I have budget and time restrictions on my marketing plans. Yet, I don’t want those to be an excuse for producing a poor quality trailer. I wasn’t going to allow them to convince me to hire someone else to produce a poor quality trailer, either. Yes, I’m an independent author and, yes, I don’t have the backing of one of the big five publishing houses. None of those things mean I can’t produce a high quality trailer though. In fact, it was those things—and the lack of response from the production company—which gave me the determination to create something that could rival the trailers of the traditionally published authors.


At the point of writing this article, I’ve created a storyboard and script for my trailer. I’ve also found a hugely talented composer who’s willing to create an original music score, for free, in exchange for exposure. In addition to this, I have an artist on board, a chosen location for the live-action segments, and a decent quotation for high-quality costumes. There’s still a long way to go but I know I’ll get there in the end.


For now, though, I want to share my journey. Undoubtedly, there’ll be independent authors reading this who are thinking of creating a book trailer. I hope that by sharing the obstacles I’ve encountered/will encounter, and the ways of overcoming them, I’ll prove you don’t need Spielberg budgets to create blockbuster book trailers.


Next time: CREATING AN INDIE BOOK TRAILER Part Two: The Power of Networking



T G Campbell is a crime novelist that resides in Modern Day England, though she'd probably wanted to have lived in Victorian London. She is best known for her Bowstreet Society mysteries. You can find out more about T G here.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

10 Things That May Inspire You!

by G Dean Manuel



  1. Altered Carbon- This Netflix original TV series has so much to offer. It hits you with a well thought out future setting, an interesting premise, and some great acting.

  2.                                                                 
  3. The Magicians-This is a TV show on SyFy. It is currently in its third season. If you haven't watched it, it is the kind of on your nose Contemporary Fantasy that I like. About a group of young magicians that go to a college for magicians and find a portal to another world they thought was make believe. It is based on the series of books by Raymond Feist.

  4.                                                                 



  5. This video by Lindsey Stirling. I love Lindsey Stirling and this video is inspirational in its cinemetography.

  6.                                                                 

  7. This picture. It gives a real dreamy and steampunk feel!


  8. The Life of Mad Jack. A man who fought his way through WWII with a claymore and bow and arrows. Only recorded bow kills during the war.
  9.                                                                 

  10. Casablanca- This movie is amazing! I didn't think I would like it but it won me over easily. If you haven't seen it, do it. Like now, I'll wait.
  11.                                                                 

  12. Axolotl-These animals are amazing. They are Wolverine in nature. They can go as far as regenerate their spinal cords!


  13. This picture:of a small square world consisting of a little island with a lighthouse.


  14. Redshirts by John ScalziThis book is hilarious! If you have never read and enjoy shows like Star Trek, this book is a great parody!

  15.                                                                 

  16. Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad WilliamsThis is the type of contemporary fantasy that I like! Unapologetic characters that I can relate to that aren't paragons of virtue but rather drinking, smoking, breathing men and angels that are tempted to do bad things.

  17.                                                                 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Rejection Journey update

by G Dean Manuel


It has been a couple weeks since my first post (here if you would like to compare). Since that post, I have been a busy little writer. Well, poet, at least. My current stats are:



  • Stories submitted: 13



  • Stories accepted: 4



  • Stories rejected: 12



  • Stories currently in submission: 4


Just to clarify, if the numbers aren't adding up for you, I forgot a story I submitted through email. The publisher contacted me to tell me I was accepted and I was super happy I didn't publish it elsewhere. That is why keeping my chart up-to-date is a must!


Now on the poetry side, things get a little busier:



  • Poems submitted: 35



  • Poems accepted: 3



  • Poems rejected: 11



  • Poems currently in submission: 25(!)
    Look at all that blue!!!


Minor change: Ballad of the Night Nurses was accepted by Quail Bell Magazine. Big change: I submitted over 25 poems to several different publications!


For anyone reading this that has trouble submitting, anyone that is plagued with doubts about their abilities, I don't share this to brag. I share this so you can take heart! I pause over the submit button for agonizing seconds before taking the leap. Every. Single. Time. But I do it. I press the button. You can, too!


My four stories that have been accepted are: “Bounty:Greed”(Gathering Storm Magazine, released), “Grandfather” (Heart of the Child anthology, released on March 24th, 2018), “King's Road” (Unsheathed anthology, release date TBA), and “Laundry Knights” (The Fairytale Collection: The Knight's Sky).


My three poems that have been accepted are: “Blind to See” (The Literary Yard, here), Dream Machinations (The Literary Yard, here), and Ballad of the Night Nurses (Quail Bell Magazine, release TBA).


I definitely feel less confident over my poetic side.


But I will keep submitting. I may not have the same power or technique that Shakespeare, Angelou, Frost, or Burns have but I am me. There is someone out there that my words will touch and I hope that I hear back from them.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beyond the Writing

By Kimberly Jay



Almost one year ago, I embarked on the journey to become a published author. Having had plenty of experience in writing, I believed this next progression in my career would be a cake walk. I happily got to it and approximately six months later, I had a ‘finished’ product. 


I was so na├»ve. 


Early on, I decided against traditionally publishing, however, I was oblivious to the work required for self-publishing. I believed completing my book was the end goal; to some degree, it was- after all, you can’t publish something that isn’t finished- BUT, there is so much more to becoming a ‘published author’ than writing the last word of your book. 

As I was making through the writing process, several people told me I would need to take a month or more away from my book, before I could successfully complete any type of self-editing. I smiled politely, reminding myself that these well-meaning people didn’t know me and confidently ‘knew’ this would not be my fate.

Yet, by the time I typed ‘the end’, I had zero desire to open the document I’d poured my heart into for so many months. I sent an email to the few people who had agreed to read my book in its rough state and then I sat back and waited. I didn’t do anything related to my book, because I was confident in my writing ability and believed my circle of supporters (or some other type of book promotion fairy) would propel my book onto the best seller lists. My book was so good, I was sure it would be it would sell itself.

If everyone is giving you the same advice, you should probably pay it some attention…

Perhaps, I had a bit of a hard head, because I didn’t take heed to any of the ‘well-intended’ advice I was given. When my beta readers came back with questions, I thought they didn’t get my writing; they weren’t the readers I had originally thought them to be, and I didn’t really care about their questions or concerns-

This is of course until I revisited my beloved manuscript (nearly two months after closing the file). I was shocked at the amount of unfinished thoughts, run on sentences and missing pieces my book had. If you weren’t sure, the self-editing process is a humbling experience.


Listen to your Alpha/Beta Readers. They are only giving you information to make your book the best it can be…

There I was, going through my manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, still debating on the need to have a professional editor because I had written and edited for others, I thought I didn’t really need an outside source to provide me with that skillset. After a second run of editing, I realized how massive the task of editing your own work is and the decision to acquire an editor was solidified as a must have.

Save yourself some time and know that you will need an outside professional editor. As you are in the writing stages, think of what type of person you’d like to edit your book. Find this editor (he or she does exist) and begin to cultivate a relationship with them, so when it comes time for you to hand over your manuscript, you won’t be traumatized by trust issues. You will also want to secure a spot on your editor’s workload calendar, so you aren’t left waiting around for them to be able to review your work…

Writing and editing aren’t the only things you need to do to get your book into the hands of the masses- so don’t get comfortable! Remember that team of supporters you have? The people who have been encouraging you to write your story, telling you how great you are and filling your head with all kinds of whimsy about the measure of success you will gain because you are just that good? Well, those people aren’t going to sell your book. So, what are you going to do? Enter the tedious world of marketing…

Book marketing may seem generic, but how you implement the various marketing tools is what will make you stand out. There are so many different marketing strategies that it would be impossible to name them all, but here are a few I have found to have worked for me- using a Facebook Author page and creating genuine relationships with my fans/followers (it is more than a numbers/like game), creating a book trailer, doing a reading of an excerpt from my book, making a post card sized advertisement of my book (posted to several community boards and leaving bookmarks (about my book) on coffee shop counters, library check out counters and any other counter, where ‘my’ readers would be.

In terms of marketing your book, this is something you should start doing long before you finish writing your book- though it isn’t to late to start, so get to it! Don’t let marketing strategies stress you out, have some fun with it and like all things in life, don’t be afraid to make a mistake here and there…

Now that you’ve completed your rounds of self-edits, your alpha and beta readers have read your book and given it some stellar reviews and you’ve got your marketing road map- you’re all set to make your book available to the waiting public, right? Nope. Have you considered your book’s appearance? Whether you’re publishing only in e-book format or printed form or both, you’ll want an eye-catching cover. This is a service you can do yourself (there are any number of tools available online to aid you in this endeavor) or you may choose to hire this task out; the choice is yours and yours alone.

People judge most books by the covers, so make sure you put some time, effort and perhaps investment into yours…

Don’t get lost in the millions of books made available to the world each day- remember to stand out in the crowd, you’ll have to do some work beyond the writing! I’d love to hear your best practices beyond the writing! Leave a comment and let’s chat about it, shall we?

Kimberly Jay, also known as Kim, Specialk or Dvnmskm- depending on where you meet her- has been writing almost as long as she has been talking (which for those of you who don't know that's slightly less than half a century)! She enjoys writing across genres, preferring to let the creative juices flow instead of following the 'rules' of writing. She has held court with the Richmond City Council and Richmond City School Board, where here eloquent speeches have left many an onlooker rethinking and reevaluating their position the current topic at hand. Find out more about Kim here.

Confidence, Fair Writer!

I have three stories published. One novella. I have a blog that gets a mediocre fan base. Nothing too wild. And I have folders on my comput...