Tag Archives: self-publishing

Jerold Last – an update and a new puppy!

Jerold Last was featured on Reading Recommendations Jan. 9, 2014. He’s back now to tell us of some exciting news!

Cover Surreal Killer

News updates: An earlier novel in the series, The Surreal Killer, received a nice award as the Indie Book of the Day Awardee, Sept. 7, 2013.

The Surreal Killer is a gripping story that seamlessly mixes the genre of whodunit thriller and the theme of travel to exotic places to introduce the reader to the regional culture and history of the Incas while a mysterious modern-day murderer proves that we reap what we sow. This psychological thriller takes us deep into the mind of a serial killer as the suspense mounts to a shocking conclusion. The plot blends murder, intrigue, and the 20th Century history of Chile with the genesis of a serial killer.
Available from Amazon Worldwide


Also Jolie, the model for Juliet the show dog in The Deadly Dog Show, became a proud grandmother in real life. One of the puppies, Ries, has joined our pack of dogs and is now bossing his mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother around.

Ries stacked 5 months

Finally, a new book in the series entitled The Origin Of Murder will be published soon on Amazon. Here’s a cover reveal …

Galapagos Cover

More on Editing

And this is why everyone needs an editor – especially self-published authors … These are just a few comments – of 31 similar-sounding reviews!! – about an eBook listed for sale on Amazon. Yikes!! You’d think the author would have had enough sense by now to de-list the entire series and fix the problems in her books!

Worst editing ever – The story is ok but I never read a book with so many spelling mistakes. Very poor editing. Not sure I will continue reading the series.

5 star writing, one star proofreading – Very good read but absolutely the worst editing and proofreading I have EVER seen. Too bad as doing this electronically should be easy. In some cases the characters name was wrong, many punctuation errors and omissions, incomplete sentences, you name it, it was there. Too bad.

Just OK – I read the first in the series because I got it free. Since I enjoy books in series, I am reading the others to see what happens with Cindy and Mattheus, but only because they are fairly inexpensive downloads. The storyline is just ok and the editing (or lack thereof) makes me cringe at times. For example, in this book, one of the characters was first named Ables, then Noles, then back to Ables. Maybe it’s the former school teacher in me, but it is bothersome.

You MUST hire an editor!! Please! For the sake of your readers.

And here are some editing tips to tackle on your own before you send your manuscript on to a professional editor!!

From The Writer Life: 25 Editing Tips for Tightening Your Copy

And here’s a handy-dandy Story Structure/ Plotting infographic, again to help you sort out your manuscript before you hire an editor: Amanda Patterson’s Story Structure/ Plotting Guide


Do not attempt to edit your manuscript alone, kids! That manuscript is never as good as you think it is. Besides, it’s self-publishers like the example I offered at the beginning of this post who give all of us self-publishers a bad name.

Dear Writer … it’s not all about you, ya know!

I’m reblogging this post from Aug. 16th, 2013, because it seems to be time to repeat the message. I’ll also be posting a new list of five more authors I will be promoting over the next while. Here’s a link to the first five!

A few weeks ago, I completed a sentence that had been posted by a writing-related Page on Facebook: What I like most about writing is …

I answered with, “when a reader enjoys what I’ve written,” because that’s why we all write in the first place. Right? So readers will read, and be affected by, what we’ve written. The bonus comes when they tell us this is the case. If that’s not why we write then we might as well just maintain locked journals and diaries. Or burn everything we write.

I was the first to reply to this, so it wasn’t until I went back to the Page a day later that I noticed mine was the only comment that took readers into consideration. For the rest of the people posting – and there were very many! – it was all about them.

When I write The End.

When my writing goes well for the day.

When I sell a lot of copies.

You get the picture. It scares me that so many writers are that self-centred they can’t see the real value to writing anything is to move, to entertain, to persuade, to get a reaction, and just have their writing read. (And it doesn’t matter here whether the reader actually purchased a copy, downloaded it for free, or borrowed your book from the library – as long as they’re reading. We’re not talking about making big bucks from writing and that that should be the reason we write, because I think everyone realizes there’s very little money to be made from writing books. And, if you don’t realize that then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell to you … )

I know the vast majority of those who posted in reply to that original sentence will become published authors, or most likely will become self-published authors. I’m a self-published author. Unfortunately, most of those commentors will become the brand of self-published author we’ve all come to know and despise – The Self-Promoting Self-Published Author You know the ones – they spam you and mention their book, and only their book, every chance they get, and wonder why no one is buying. They never seem to wonder why no one is reading; they’re only interested in the money they’re not making.

So we end up with articles like this by Michael Kozlowski on GoodEReader: Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature. ALL self-published authors are painted with the same brush, because too many are making nuisances of themselves. I have stopped following and friending any author who only talks about themselves and their own book in social media. I will not follow anyone whose Twitter bio is only about their own book and not about any of the benefits they can offer to me – like, that they’re a READER, or a librarian, or a bookseller or someone else with a vested interest in books in general.

Sure, I want to know you’re a writer, but I also want to know that you read and will promote books by other authors. I will be more inclined to look at your website, in that case, check out what you’ve written, and – here’s the clincher … Help you to promote that book of yours by telling my friends about it, if I enjoy reading what you’ve written.

Now we’ve come full circle as to why readers’ enjoyment in our writing should be of the utmost importance to all writers and authors. If readers like what they read they will share it with their friends. The very best promotion anyone can ever ask for is word-of-mouth, because it means our readers are endorsing us and want to share our work with their friends, and it’s not just us blowing our own horns all the time. Word-of-mouth is also the most flattering form of promotion, far better than any review in a newspaper most new readers will never see. And it gets rid of any perceived need to self-promote, ad nauseum.

This word-of-mouth business doesn’t just happen overnight, either, so I suggest that, along with restraint, writers and authors need to learn to be patient. I first published my eBook in Feb. 2012 and the print edition in June of that year, and I’m still finding new readers who haven’t previously heard of me or my book. But I’ve been quietly making connections here and there and one thing has been leading to another, so I’m very pleased with the readership base I’ve developed, and how many of those people have asked when the next book will be available. I keep writing, and I continue to publish the work of other writers and help them promote their work. And I’ve tried to do it in a way that, I hope, has been helpful to other writers/authors and their readers by not making it all about me and my book.

I’ve recently “met” online a couple of other self-published authors. (I read and enjoyed their books, wrote reviews, and heard back from them both. We’ve made a connection and are now discussing promoting and promotion and I believe some good things are going to be coming out of this that will benefit all of us.) I’ve made the suggestion to one of these authors that, if every writer/author out there were to help five others promote their work (so for every tweet about their own book they would tweet five times about five different authors) this would be a wonderful world! You must have read something recently that you want to talk about to everyone you know. Maybe you’ve discovered a new writer whose book you just couldn’t put down, or perhaps you have a writer friend who is struggling to get the word out, because they just don’t have as many friends on Facebook as you do. It could also be an established author whose work you admire. Even established authors still need promotion, after all.

So I’m putting my money where my typing fingers are and am proposing to begin promoting five other authors myself. This was my business, after all, when I ran Alberta Books Canada. One of the authors I promoted then said that if I could find new readers for his writing he would be happy, so that became my mandate – finding new readers. At that time, I was working to promote many authors, primarily to libraries, and the authors paid me for displaying their books at conferences. What I propose now is to promote books by authors because it’s a good thing to do! If I promote these authors now, somewhere down the line someone else will promote my book. And all of this promotion will be done for free with no expectation of receiving anything in return. After all, what goes around, comes around. That’s Karma, man!

Please join me! (Readers, you too can get in on this idea …) If you know of a deserving book, tell your friends about it. Write a review, mention in your status update, Tweet about it. (As Tim Baker said in a recent blog post, Write a Review — Independent Authors Everywhere Will Thank You) Do that for five authors for a while. Then change over to another five authors. And continue. Your friends will be grateful for the reading recommendations. The authors will be grateful for the promotion.

And … it won’t be all about you any longer, so your friends will begin to return.


The ins and outs of being a writer …

As I struggle to get back to my own writing and question why I’m doing something that often feels so much like I’m beating myself over the head, I thought I’d procrastinate just a little bit longer and post a few more links to some very interesting articles and blog posts that address the issue of being a writer …

First off, a flow chart from terribleminds, because I love flow charts (and I know that my designer, Jenny Ryan, loves flow charts, too!)

From wordserve water cooler: Being a Published Author Won’t Make Me Happy (And How I Know That) by Lucille Zimmerman AND The Writing Life: A Super Balancing Act by Rebecca L. Boschee

From Tim Baker at blindoggbooks: Step Right Up – I’ll Make You Rich AND Do We Write for Love or Money?

From C. Hope Clark: One Day I’ll Write This Story

From Michael Hyatt: The 4 Hidden Rewards of Rejection

From Seth Godin: Fearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear

From Writing Forward: How to Write Well Without Losing Your Mind by Melissa Donovan

From HuffPost Books: When Novels Become Assassins by David Biddle

And, as if the angst of writing weren’t enough of a worry, here’s an article for those of you who are considering whether to go the traditional or the self-publishing route …

From The Guardian: Linda Gillard on self-publishing: ‘I market myself, not a genre’

The business of publishing

I’ve said it before, many times, and I will say it again: All writers and authors, whether they are traditionally published or self-published, print or ePublished, need to learn something – as much as they can, actually – about the publishing business. The more they know about the “business” of writing and publishing (because it is definitely a business if you hope to sell what you write) the more effective you will become in producing, publishing, and selling a quality product of which you may be proud. I don’t suggest that you enroll in a publishing program or learn everything there is to know about the business in order to become a publisher yourself, but you should at least know what goes into publishing a book, all the people who are involved, all the steps taken towards publishing and selling a book, and to know where you, as the writer, actually fits into the equation. The more you know the better equipped you will be to find new readers for your work.

The easiest way to gain some knowledge is by keeping abreast of publishing news, so that’s why on this blogsite I offer writers and authors interesting links to whatever I discover online that I think you should know about, too.

I’m devoting this post to links covering the “Business” side of publishing a book – ie. everything except the writing of it. I hope this will help with gaining more of an education. If you have any similar links to share, please post them in the comments below.

First off, check out this great infographic, The Publishing Highway over at YA Highway.

Terms you should know: Literary Terms Defined: The Common and the Uncommon by Chuck Sambuchino from Writer Unboxed

A brief description of Publishing in Toronto: Books Abroad: Book Business and Publishers in Toronto by Shannon Kobran from Publishing Trendsetter

A new publishing company: Figure 1 Publishing’s Second Rights by Kristen Hildeman from BCBusiness

Be prepared to work hard – really hard! – at preparing that manuscript: Critique by Suzanne Lakin (listing here is not an endorsement of blogger`s critiquing service)

What you need to know to successfully submit manuscripts to publishers:
How Writing a Proposal is a Lot Like Teething by Sarah Joy
AND Pitch Your Book Like It’s a Movie (The One Sentence Synopsis) by Kimberly Vargas from wordserve water cooler
AND The #1 Reason for Query Fails – How to Avoid Automatic Rejection from a Reviewer, Agent, Editor or Blogger by Anne R. Allen

How publishers are faring these days: Independent Penguin Goes Out on High Note by Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly
Harlequin eBook Sales Account for 24.5% of Total Revenue by Michael Kozlowski from GoodEReader

Dealing with your rights: Getting Your Rights Back From the Publisher by Rachelle Gardner from Books & Such Literary Agency

When it comes time to promote and publicize: Anakana Schofield: publicising a novel – the problems from The Guardian
AND What J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith Can Teach Us About Author Platform by Joel Friedlander from The Book Designer

Selling copies – or as I like to call this, “Finding New Readers”: The End of Discoverability and the Rise of Merit by James Scott Bell from The Kill Zone
AND Is Seasonal Publishing Dead? by Judith Rosen from Publishers Weekly
AND eBooks Change the Season Concept in Publishing by Molly Pilkington from GoodEReader
What You Can Do When Your Books Aren’t Selling by Daphne from The Self Publishing Toolkit

On the business of bookstores: Borders Bookstore to Launch Once More in Singapore by Michael Kozlowski from GoodEReader

On the business of libraries: My Local Library Has an Espresso Book Machine by Nate Hoffelder from The Digital Reader

And finally, from Kate Hart there’s How to Get Published: A Flowchart


Any questions, additional information, comments? Please post below and let’s start a conversation!