Last Quarter, and Discussing Short Stories Too

Well, here we are entering the last quarter of 2018. It really seems like a short time ago 2017 ended and we had just entered 2018. Yet, here we are. For me days, weeks, months, and yes even years move along much too fast. I believe this may be the result of living for sixty nine years. When we are young, and here I’m referring to when we are five or six – about the time when we can remember some of our past – time seems to drag, and the years seem to be really long.

I believe that’s because of the ratio of the number of days to the number of years we’ve been around. Comparing that to now it seems that my days heading into the past go on forever. Even though that’s not true. Those days are as finite as I am. Those days (25,185, at the time I write this) do say that I’ve lived most of my time given to me. Fortunately I do come from a long lived family so my chances are good that I should live into my nineties. In fact my mother is ninety-three and still sharp as a tack as they say.

Still we are winding down this year and soon it will be placed in the books as all the years before this one. And being that it is this time of year it means that I’ve begun to work on this year’s Christmas short story. I’ve found in the last couple of years that coming up with one hasn’t been easy. In fact until recently I didn’t have a clue as to what I’d write about. Fortunately something did come along and I’m well into the first draft. And no, I haven’t finished the story as of yet., but will soon. Truthfully I have to, as it will need to be revised and edited a number of times before it will actually become more than words on the page and be ready for prime time. And yes it will be different from the others I presented over time here on this blog, and in the book of short stories, Words in the Wind.

For any who are still with me, you now know that I’ve dropped my posts down to once a month instead of weekly. Still a number of you are recent followers and there is a lot of material in the archives. This blog came into existence in 2011, and while that seems like yesterday  to me, it’s quite a few years ago. And as both this blog and I age the frequency of posts will reflect that fact. This year I had thought of possibly writing another Halloween short story, but unless some inspiration strikes me, most likely it will not happen. Here in the USA it the time, at the end of October, for Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving on the third Thursday in the month of November, and we end the year with Christmas. Then suddenly one week later we begin another year.

For me it’s hard to believe that we are down to the last three months of the year with fall here and winter coming on strong. And in the area where I live that means lots of gray, cold days and nights with lots of rain. Cabin fever would be something easy to catch when it’s just too miserable to go outside. In fact, as I write this, it’s raining now. Still it’s a time for writing, and I still have two novels to complete. I’m happy where I am as I surpassed my original goal of eight novels, and then reached my next goal of ten with the recent release of “Words in the Wind, a book of short stories”.

We are entering the time of year where family becomes more important, as well as our friends. Nostalgia is also strong as our own memories flow back to our own past and of growing up. Enjoy the romanticism of these memories for we all have a tendency to remember the good times, and leave those bad times behind knowing that, many times, we do learn from them. God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

 

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Looks Like This is the End

Before we begin this post and for those into trivia, this title was part of a children’s TV series that debuted in the year of 1964, (and to age me, I was in high school). If you can come up with the answer – great. It ran for 3 years before going into syndication and running until 1973. And the complete statement is, “Looks like this is the end . . . of another episode of Underdog!”

As each life begins, it also must have an ending. None of us are gifted with any more years than we end up with. When we are in our youth such thoughts rarely cross our minds since that future is much too far away to contemplate. Yet, it arrives much too fast. And as we are into the day-to-day living, while it (time) may appear to drag, in truth when compared to your time here overall, it doesn’t. Before we realize it that end is not that far away, and most of one’s life is behind them. Suddenly plans, dreams, and such, have reached their totality, and there is not enough time left to reach and grab them. Suddenly you realize that the sun is setting on you and in a short time your end will be here.

This is true of the seasons, of life, of business, and even this universe and this planet. And it is definitely true of this blog, Words in the Wind. I started writing this in my early 60’s as a companion to my novels. A way for readers to get to know me, to get to know my works. It has been an eclectic work covering many different subjects. And while I attempted to stay away from politics, since there are plenty of blogs out there on that subject, there were times I could not. Eventually and in the near future, the short stories that I’ve posted here will be released as a compilation novel titled appropriately, “Words in the Wind”.

Whether, in the long run, this blog has been successful, I guess only time past this present post will tell. It is said that nothing dies on the internet, and what is written and posted here will be here until the internet no longer exists. It has also been stated that time is the great equalizer. If what is written, created, or added is timeless, then it will outlive the creator of that work. And because of where I am in life, it really won’t matter to me, since I will have passed from this world. To family who is still here maybe, but even that is an unknown.

To my many followers I have to say Thank You. Without you, there would be no reason to continue through these many years, these many posts. And, in the end, I can only hope that somewhere among these many posts is a gem or two that left you with a bit of wisdom, something to take home, something that allowed you to see something in a different light, maybe helped solve a problem, or some lessons on writing that helped. And the short stories that were posted, hopefully they entertained, and maybe made you think or brought smiles, because you could see yourself in some of those situations.

And to those new followers who have just found me, I will say that in truth this may not be the complete end to this. I’ve been working this blog over eight years with very little time off. My plan was to continue this until I finished all of my writing, and the self publishing that I’ve still to complete. There’s a great chance that I will be posting here in the future. So for me this is a hiatus, a break, a time to refresh the mind. Still there are close to four hundred posts here. And I have them broken down by either the months when they were posted or by subject. So this is a place to return to catch some of those past posts.

When I began my writing career, again in my late 50’s, I had an original goal of writing eight books. When I began that journey I didn’t know if that was a realistic goal or not, but I can say now that I did reach and surpass it, so it was, and is a realistic goal. If there are any aspiring writers out there all I can say is to try. After all you won’t know if you don’t. Life never goes as planned, so all of us must remain flexible, willing to change in a moment of time. Go with it, adjust, and enjoy life since it passes one by much too quick. And even though we tend to ignore it time is the most precious commodity we have. Once it’s gone it’s lost forever and we can never get it back.

Go with God, be blessed by His Grace, and again a big Thank You, as this is a temporary end, and I’ll be saying good bye for now, and good luck – F. D. Brant. (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on March 17, 2018 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Closing Thoughts

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)

* * *

In a sense I suspect many may be disappointed by the way this series of posts ended. Many probably were expecting much more detail, and maybe a better sense of direction. Still with writers being anywhere on their paths to success it means that being specific or drilling down to that exact item, or specific advice would be impossible. Each of us is on a unique journey, a path only we can take. Others can view it and take away what may be important, but in the end it will only be a small part of the overall process or picture.

For me finding Joel Friedlander, (joelfriedlander.com) was that final piece that made it happen for me, (And no I’m not being paid to say this. In fact this person is unaware of this post). And we all must realize that his solutions are not the only ones available to us. There are many great sites out there with great teachers and educators who are willing to tutor or mentor. And there are also the opposite. So it behooves us to research before investing. With the anonymity of the web it is easy to lose one’s money with no recourse.

There are sites like, authorscommunity.net where they are set up to help and assist authors in their journeys. And we can always look to Writers Digest, and The Writer magazine, since it is their business to bring important information, training, suggestions, and trends to the writer. Or a site such as authors.me where they attempt to bring writers, publishers, agents, and editors together.Sites that didn’t exist in the recent past.  And as far as sites I could continue to list them, but then again, there’d be no room for anything but websites.

I could have also gone through the mechanics of what and how I do my writing, (but this isn’t what this or these posts are about). Still, if you think about it, this is my personal way of attacking the whole project from beginning to end, and it works for me. And while parts may work for others, we are each individuals who will tackle the problems before us in our own personal way. There is no one right or wrong way to do any of this. I can remember my mother saying that my dad would always try to make her do something the way he did. She always responded back with, “I don’t do it that way”.

We must remember that as individuals we will always see the problem from our personal perspective. And with this we will also solve whatever that problem is with what has worked for us. So while we may want to help others with the way we do something it may not work for them. That is probably why giving one the tools and understanding to use those tools is as far as we need to go. From there all of us must learn to fly on our own.

We may look back fondly on that particular mentor that made the light shine in the darkness, and understanding suddenly dawn. Yet if we honestly think about that experience we will see that they allowed us the room to make mistakes, to then come back and ask questions. And yes, while they were the teacher in truth they probably were more of a guide keeping us within the boundaries we needed to be. Using their experience to keep us from falling too hard and becoming discouraged.

So consider this as a series of posts on my personal journey and an overview of the road I traveled. It cannot be your road. Take away from it what is important to you. In the end only you can move yourself along your personal journey. Will it be easy? No. Rarely is such the case. So expect it to be hard, and if some parts are easy then this type of disappointment is positive. For me when such happens I generally wait until the other shoe drops because there always seems to be something waiting in the wings I hadn’t anticipated.

Oh yes, some of you may have been wondering if those novels I’ve self-published were just short little things that might be considered novellas. No not really, since my shortest is close to three hundred pages, the longest which combines a trilogy into a single book is eleven hundred and fifty plus pages, and the longest stand alone novel is over six hundred and fifty pages in length. I’ve released two trilogies with the other three as stand alone novels. Remember:

Set those goals, and keep your mind and eyes on what those goals are. As in life, there are always distractions, always other things to pull you away from your path, your personal journey. And never, never give up. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

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/)

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/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Three

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)

* * *

So in this new “wild west” of publishing everything was changing at a rapid rate. And into this new world with the little knowledge I had I thought the smart thing to do was to take advantage of one of these companies, (companies that converted manuscripts into EBooks) and have them publish my novels. Still, at this point I had hope that somewhere during this process that I’d land or find an agent, and begin the process that led to traditional publishing.

Traditional publishing seemed to be the best way to get known, and maybe in the end produce enough income that I might be able to live off the proceeds. As time went on and as I learned more about this route, I found there was much I didn’t like. In a sense, after all that effort, hard work, time invested, and all that isolation as one worked on that particular manuscript or project, in the end you sold your rights to all of this hard personal work to a company that probably wouldn’t invest much time and effort on the project. And if there wasn’t an immediate return bury it, leaving the writer out in the cold with no recourse.

I didn’t like those odds, and add to it the fact that if I wanted those rights back, I’d had to purchase them. So while having your novel published by one of the big houses seemed to be the way to success, it wasn’t necessarily so. It was then I learned that in this modern world of publishing, much of the work, after the fact, would still fall to you the writer. They, (publishers) now require that the writer have a platform. The writer now had to be on social media, have a website, and in most cases have an active blog. The writer now would be responsible for all the correspondence with fans of his or her works, and in many ways be responsible for getting the word out.

As I thought about this, I began to wonder why I would need a publisher since they were requiring all of this from me. I mean if I was doing this as an independent then I’d be doing very much the same thing. Sure, I understand that with the budgets that publishers have, besides their reach, there is a better chance of becoming known through them. Yet, at the same time that chance overall would be really small.

Going independent meant that I’d be the one in control of everything. Of course this meant that I’d be in control of everything, including the costs involved, the decisions for content, release dates, distribution, announcements, and so many other small details that it might become overwhelming. Especially since I really knew nothing about this industry.

So back to Writers Digest and a webinar on self-publishing I went. After this I did some research and decided that the company I would go with to create my EBooks, followed by the fact they had a great distribution network, was Book Baby. With them you paid for the production costs, and they would then distribute your EBook throughout their network, collect the royalties, handle the accounting, and once your royalties hit a certain threshold transfer the funds into you account.

For me this seemed to be a good solution or compromise. It appeared they had the experience, distribution network, and a system that would allow one to track their books. So my first four novels were originally converted and published by them. Still, as time moved on their prices continued to climb, and with the last one I sent them to convert the costs had risen to well over $400. This was rapidly heading in the direction of unaffordable. And while they did distribute, I really wasn’t seeing much results. Again, POD (Print on Demand) was still in the future, and the small independent print shops where one might get a manuscript printed was well beyond most indie authors as far as costs. This still left the issue of distribution. and how one would get their printed books out to the retailers.

So for me it was time to do some additional research and continue to learn and understand the industry I found myself in. And, of course, this industry was now very fluid and big changes were in the wind and happening almost overnight.

Next week I continue my journey to becoming and indie writer, and publisher. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Two

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)

* * *

As I’ve stated in an earlier post, I thought that once a manuscript was written then it’s done. I guess that was one of the first hard lessons learned. Without editing there is no story. And in a sense even though I hadn’t thought about editing, when I had written book two in the Discovery trilogy, I had no choice but to return to the first one and make corrections. In other words edit the darn thing.

So now what? How was I to get these manuscripts in front of publishers and editors? Well I had returned to subscribing to Writers Digest, and ended up purchasing one of their books that gave lists of agents, and such. So I picked out a few that I thought would work with the genre I wrote, submitted queries, and waited. Every one came back as rejections. And what made it worse was the fact the rejections were form letter rejections, which meant no interest at all.

During this time I became a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA). Every year they host conferences, and also have a contest tied in with their conferences allowing authors to submit manuscripts, (for a price of course) to be judged. Then at the conference the winner would be announced. Then this winner would have the opportunity to talk to publishers and agents who would be specifically interested in their manuscript.

This was a no brainer. I had to submit to this contest and hope I was good enough to at least reach the finals. Of course the winner wouldn’t be announced until the end of the conference. So I attended the writer’s conference, and I have to admit that it was worth the price of admission. The only issue for me was the price of admission only allowed me to do this once.

The classes I attended added to the knowledge that I lacked, and as far as my manuscript, it didn’t go anywhere. Still, by this time I had written another novel and had brought a query with me, hoping to get the opportunity to give it to either an agent, or publisher. I was fortunate enough to find one who accepted the query. Still, I never heard back. So in the end another failed query and opportunity.

I guess, in many ways what you see here is pretty standard for any unknown. It has been stated that one could paper their walls with rejection letters before finally landing a deal somewhere. Still I continued to learn. And eventually, after taking one of many webinars I learned a little about self-publishing, and the beginnings of the revolution in electronic books. Whether you have a love or hate relationship, it is Amazon that drove this, forcing the other publishers to come along for the ride, kicking and screaming, and fighting this trend.

POD (Print on Demand) hadn’t arrived as of yet. So a few internet companies began to offer services for converting manuscripts into the EBook formats – Epub, and Mobi. Some would do the work for free taking a percentage of the sales as their share for the work performed. Others would require payment up front, and then any sales belonged to you.

In the beginning of all of this one was responsible for the cover designs, and obviously the content, and formatting of that content. It was later that many of these specialty houses began offering services that would  do this work for you, again for a price. Still, if we were to look at some of my early covers that I created verses the ones presently on my novels then it becomes painfully obvious where the talent is.

Next week I move onto my first foray into this new world of self-publishing. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part One

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)

* * *

Yes, I’m an Indie publisher, and as such I’m responsible for all of it. And what I mean is, from the writing, to the editing, to contracting for covers, and submitting all materials to a print house, to the final product you find at your favorite book outlet, literally everything. This is a journey that has taken years to accomplish. There were a lot of mistakes made along the way, and a really steep learning curve. Still at this time my novels are available in paperback, and EBook. I haven’t attacked the audio market as of yet, but sometime in the future it may be a direction that I will take. (Also remember that everybody’s path is different, and this is mine.)

And now that I’m looking at reaching an end to most of what I’ve done, I thought it was time to look back and trace the pathways to now. So with this first post in the new series I will go back to the beginnings which began eleven years ago. 2006 was the year I retired, and then moved from where we were living to the great northwest, and all the work that happens when you not only move into to a new home, but add to that a new state, meaning the changing of all your vehicle licenses, driver’s license, and address changes and such. Add to it not knowing anything about anything meant more learning.

So this early time was simply spent on becoming familiar with the area, and the changes that one faces. Still, after this what was I planning to do? I knew, from statistics, that if one didn’t occupy oneself with something productive that life expectancy after retirement would be short. And I wanted time to spend with my wife, who is still working at this time, once she retired, and finally after all the years together to actually have it be just the two of us. That will finally happen in the second half of 2019.

So I thought maybe I should try to write. While I’ve written a short story or two, and when we’d do Halloween haunted walks, create stories to heighten the suspense, I had never tried to write a complete novel. At the time in the past where I’d attempt to write, life got in the way, so it was something that had to be placed on the backburner until such time where I might be able to devote more time to the craft. Decades went by, and between family and job it reached a point where I had to give up recreational reading totally. So for the last years of my career, it was work, home life, no real vacations, and a wildfire close to the end of my career that once again changed our direction, and lives forever.

I’ve never claimed to be anything but a country hick. I lived most of my life on family property that was forty-one acres in size. A two mile dirt road to get there, we are on wells for water, and then in the seventies we finally got electricity and a telephone. Yet, when we made this move from there to where we are living presently it was in a city. The original plan was to only be here a short time while we recovered, sell, and return to the country. Then came the housing crash, and so here we are still living in the city, and that same house twelve years later.

Back when I had begun this journey, decades in the past, the publishing industry was completely different. There were no agents, and in reality there were no classes, internet, webinars and such, to teach one how to create a query, and one dealt with publishers and editors directly. It meant when I decided to pursue a writing career as a second occupation that what we see today was completely unknown to me. Meaning that I went into this as I remembered, not knowing the reality of today and the massive changes that had taken place. Let alone the ones that I didn’t see coming in the future, which is now the past. Even though what is happening today is still changing and growing.

In a sense what we see has led to a revolution in the publishing world. Now anybody who has thoughts of publishing can do it. So this has led to the massive amounts of published material out there making it even more difficult for a writer to become known. And is usually the case there’s lots of this new material that’s really not worth reading. In many ways this is like the old west, it is the frontier, a revolution, and a freedom for any to get one’s book out and into the hands of readers.

So late in 2006 I began my first novel. Still I knew that it was important to set a goal. I mean, was this novel going to be my only attempt, or did I have aspirations to go further? At first I didn’t know, but eventually set a goal of eight novels. Was it realistic? There was no way to know, and if it wasn’t I could always adjust it later. So off into the darkness of the unknown future I went. And the obstacles that was ahead of me were all unknown – which was probably a good thing. I really thought, in my mind that it would be simple. Write the novel, submit it, and see it published.

For any who have tried, they know that this isn’t reality, and this road is a long and hard one. Yes there are always a few who seem to hit everything just right and go to the best seller’s list. But for most of us we end in obscurity and what we’ve produced ends up on our personal shelves to collect dust. Still even to have accomplished this is far greater then ninety nine percent of the ones who have attempted to write only to fail.

Next week I’ll be continuing this final series of posts. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on January 6, 2018 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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