A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Eight

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

At times it seems like there is nothing out there that can move things along into the direction that one needs to go. So I suspect at this point many give up. We have to remember that we are not the only ones who have been down this road. It is also important to remember that many stop at this point and fall away thinking about all the time they’ve wasted and that there surely are easier ways and other things which are available. In their mind it is definitely time to move on.

We have a plaque in this house that simply states ,”Never Give Up.” Three little words that are important to remember. Still and in the end there are no guarantees – none. You see the results of this most often when someone is fighting a terrible illness or injury. As long as they are fighting they seem to persevere. Of course for many it doesn’t matter since they are terminal. Yet, one can see, once  they give up, it is soon after this that they die. There is a point where one becomes tired of the fight. (Still, we are all terminal. It’s just the “when” that’s unknown.) This is true for anything we do in life. How many times have we been frustrated and eventually give up considering it a lost cause? And if any of us would honestly look back we will see this happening in our own lives.

So I continue to try, to never give up, and pursue that dream of being a successful writer. Truthfully to have completed and published – whether traditional or self-publishing – a novel can be considered a success. Many start this journey and never get but a few words written on the page. Finding that in the end, it’s not as simple as it appears. For me, so far, it has been nine novels – all self-published.

And since this series of posts deal with that journey I wrap it all up this week, followed by my closing thoughts next week. I have to admit, up to this time that I’ve learned a lot. Still what I knew at the beginning wasn’t even close to the knowledge needed, (even though I felt I knew enough). So I continued my personal search to learn more and to be able to take control of the overall process. This lack of knowledge and the learning of this forced me to drop many of the preconceived ideas I had, which is probably a good thing.

It was during this time that I received an email for a free webinar. Now any who have attended these know that it does two things. First, it tries to sell you a product, and secondly it builds an email list for the ones who are presenting the webinar. I knew I was sadly lacking the tools for dealing with the publicity or book marketing side, and this webinar addressed this. So I signed up and watched the webinar.

In a sense this is where things began to change. The one hosting the webinar was Joel Friedlander (joelfriedlander.com). And the one presenting the webinar was Joan Stewart (publicityhound.com). I learned more in that one class or webinar than I knew about the subject. I purchased the product. And with the knowledge gained I began to notice the very thing being taught was used by established authors and can be described as a media kit.

Now if you decide to go to the sites I’ve just listed great. With Joel, once there, head to the “sites” in the menu at the top of the page. Why you may ask. Simply stated, here are links to all of his sites and everything that he has available, for a price of course, to assist the indie author on his or her journey. And I’ve personally spent a lot of time and money on many of the products he has available.

I have to say that what I’ve learned through his webinars and products have brought more understanding and knowledge for the industry I find myself in. I use his templates for my books, I’ve learned about publishing, and so many other things. And he continues to offer webinars as the host as he brings in others who have expertise that is important to the indie writer. In fact I just finished a webinar that dealt with what’s known as “copy”. And simply stated that’s your blurb, or anything written that is about and outside of your novel.

I’ve found that writing blurbs and such isn’t easy. In fact it’s hard. What was presented opened my eyes to a different, and I’d say a better way of writing this critical material. I couldn’t afford the cost of the actual course this time around, so will take away what I can from the webinar.

Now, to be honest, I’m sure there are many great sites out there to assist one in whatever direction they want to go. Finding that right one can help propel one in the right direction and give one the knowledge needed to be successful in the end. I have purchased other courses over time and found that so far what I’ve picked up from Joel is, by far, better presented, detailed, timely, and accurate. And his products are always being evaluated and improved. (No, I’m in no way affiliated with or are being paid for these comments)

In conclusion what I can take away from this is the fact that one must never stop learning, never stop improving, and never stop period. It is important to set those goals and to attain them. It is important to continue to improve on all levels. To continue your education, and as your knowledge grows so will your ability to see things and make sense of what you are seeing. It’s always frustrating to see something that’s important and it goes right over one’s head.

This has  been a journey that’s still moving, changing and growing. And this isn’t one for the faint of heart, or for the ones who don’t have the will or fortitude to continue. There are no guarantees in life, as I stated earlier, but if one doesn’t try, then one will never succeed. Next week I close out this series of posts with some closing thoughts. God Bless, and have a great week! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

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A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Seven

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

Okay, I had these completed manuscripts, and at this point I was at a loss as to the direction to go, as well as the way to do it. How was I going to get them out into the world? During this time Writers Digest started their own publishing house called Blue Ash. They touted the fact that they used the distribution network from Book Baby, which is high praise for the company I was using. Whether Blue Ash is still operating I honestly don’t know as I never used their services.

Somehow I needed to get my other stories or novels out into the world. Here the years were flying by and I definitely wasn’t getting any younger. What I mean is the fact that I started this new career after retiring from another. So time available to me wouldn’t be as great as one who decided, in their twenties, to pursue a career in writing. I remember reading what one author said stating that it had taken ten years before his career took off. Ten years, I thought, I don’t have that luxury. Yet here it is eleven years from those beginnings and next year I hit seventy.

Seventy, really? I do truly wonder where the years have gone. They have flown so fast that to find myself here at this time in my life and at this age is not only a surprise, but in some ways a shock. Of course my mother who is presently in her nineties laughs at one who is so much younger than she. Still, even for her, the years have moved along much too fast.

I knew I needed to learn more, but at this point didn’t know where to look, or what direction to turn. It was about this time that I got an email for a free webinar for marketing and the ins and outs of what would help authors with their platforms and the marketing of their novels. Of course these types of webinars usually have a sales pitch at the end. And for a price one can buy the product touted in the webinar.

Up until this time I must admit that I had been fumbling in the dark. And what I learned about the ones putting on this webinar is the fact that both had been in the industry for years, had assisted authors, had published their own books, and understood the process involved. And to be honest, the class was well worth the time even if I hadn’t purchased the offered materials. Okay, I’m the type, again because money has always been tight, and a rare commodity, that usually waits until the “special price offer” is about to expire before committing. And even then I feel guilty about spending money that should probably go elsewhere.

So after arguing with myself, and trying to decide, I finally gave in and purchased that particular kit. It was quite obvious that I really did know next to nothing about this part of the industry, and the webinar made it painfully clear. So I finally gave in. Was I sorry? I know that all of us have been mad at ourselves for purchasing something that in the end either didn’t meet our expectations or ended up never being used, and thusly a waste. Yet in this case I wasn’t sorry. What was inside that kit was worth the price of admission. It’s always nice when that happens.

Of course this didn’t necessarily solve my dilemma of those unpublished manuscripts. Next week I go into what this webinar became, and whether it went further than only one. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant/godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Six

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

All the websites that worked manuscripts into EBooks continued to change and update what they did, including the one I’m with, Book Baby. They added features, ran blogs, provided ways to use links that would allow an author or someone interested in the novel to see his, her, or the authors’ novels from their (the companies) webpages where the novels could be purchased, and also provided education and such. It was during this time that the first of what is now a common trend began. POD (Print on Demand) began to be offered by these same companies that originally came into existence for the EBook revolution.

And speaking of EBooks, they have grown rapidly in popularity, and if one thinks about it, it makes total sense. On one of these electronic devices of choice one can take an unbelievable number of novels and only carry that small device. It simplifies things for traveling and vacations where one expects to take time out and enjoy a book or two. Still there are many diehard “print only” people out there. So to be in the EBook market alone meant that there were a great number of readers that would be missing out on these books and the stories within.

Yet, like anything that is new, (POD) the costs were prohibitive, and while it made sense to join this revolution, the costs, for most, were much too high. And for me I was one of those that couldn’t join because of that very fact. And with the normal growing pains, there were still issues, and part of those issues lay in the fact that the quality wasn’t consistent or very good. To compare a POD with a commercially printed book showed just how lacking overall they were at the beginning.

Still, it was obvious to any who was following this trend that in the future the quality of these POD’s would rival any from the publishing houses. Now, for the indie author, what would be the requirements to be able to use this new service? A lot to be honest. And part of the surprise is that fact that you must do all the pre-work before submitting your novel. Also, because of the very small runs, the cost per book produced would be more. Meaning that the cost of doing business on the retail side forced the price of the books to be unbelievably high, (which is still quite true).

Again, to take advantage of all avenues it was important to think about this. At this time with the four EBooks, I had five more manuscripts collecting electronic dust. And they were doing me no good sitting on my hard drive. I had to find a way to get them out into the world.

Next week the journey continues. Have a great week and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Five

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

On the social media side Facebook seemed to be one of the more important ones. Is it truly? Now that one I cannot answer personally. Truthfully I’m not a social media guy. I don’t like to put “me” out to the world with every little thing that I do on any particular day, or that I’m so important that everybody just has to know what I’m doing. Yet, it is said that it is critical, as an author, to be there for ones’ fans.

And speaking of fans or readers where are they? I know that Goodreads is an important site for finding them. So after a suggestion I went there, joined and set up an author page which would show my novels. Still and even with the onsight tutorial I was at loss as to what to do with it, let alone all the other places I was supposed to be. This led to another webinar, (from Writers Digest – not free, of course) dealing with one’s presence on Goodreads. And the information and education provided was timely and good. So I applied what I could.

During this time of learning and education I continued to write, building the number of novels I had in my portfolio. Still at this point in time I can still consider this a hobby and not a career. Why, you may ask. Simply stated, a hobby costs you money, and a career earns you money. So far I’ve spent significantly more than I’ve seen coming back in. My ROI (Return On Investment) is highly negative at this point and time.

Now I had a number of unpublished manuscripts and wondered what I would do with them. It led me back to the point where I began to think about traditional publishing once again. (I even submitted a manuscript to Baen Books for a possible chance at being published. Here there’s a good chance one will not hear back for at least a year.) It was during this time with the knowledge I had gained that I wrote a novel specifically written with the length a publisher would require for that “debut” novel in the genre I mostly write.

From here it was back to the webinars where I took a class specifically to learn the ins and outs of queries, (again from Writers Digest, and again not free). An agent even critiqued the one I created. At this point I still hadn’t given up on the idea of the traditional publishing route. So after finishing the class and tweaking my query I submitted it to another group of agents. Again the result was nothing more than more rejection letters.  It was also during this time when a new site became available, authors.me .

This site touted the fact that it was a place where agents, publishers, editors, and writers could come together on common ground. It was a place to be discovered, and to find that elusive agent or possible future contract for one’s hard work. So I joined. And when I finished the manuscript I had written specifically for this chance I uploaded it to the site. Again you need to understand that there’s a free side, and a monthly fee side. I understand this. To keep a page active requires funds.

Still with finances remaining tight I had to go for the free side, and I did have a publisher who seemed interested, but she became interested through Pitmad, (I comment on this a bit further along in this post) not Authors.me. In the end it was rejected. So I went back into the novel, which was 82,000 words at the time, and reworked the whole thing pushing it to around 100,000 words. This pushed it right to the limit of where “debut” novels were supposed to be. And then at the same time I had presented the novel here on this blog showing it as it was originally written, followed by showing the changes made. Still once it was rejected by that one publisher the same manuscript couldn’t be tried again with them. So I uploaded the revised manuscript to authors.me, and nothing happened.

This put me back to square one. During this time period, and a little before authors.me, I learned about something that was happening on Twitter. It’s called Pitmad, (If you’re unfamiliar with Pitmad then run a search). This happened about three to four times a year, and gave one a way to pitch their manuscripts to agents and such within the confines of Twitter. So I thought, why not? Here, again I pitched the manuscript, Unexpected, Unplanned, and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic adventure. Yes, as stated above, I had a publisher interested, still in the end it went nowhere. I did this for a couple of years hitting every Pitmad I could, but alas nothing came of it in the end.

I kept wondering, what was I doing wrong? Still in life there’s only two directions – forward or backward. Next week I continue on in my quest to get my novels out into the world. Have a great week and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

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