Tag Archives: self publishing

Drastic measures for Four’s a Crowd

Greetings, readers. Rebecca went on-line this morning to look up local publicists. We’ve got to find a way to push the latest novel. We found one near where I live and have already emailed them. Hopefully we get a response by tomorrow. That would be encouraging. If sales of the novel would take off, I might consider continuing the writing career into 2019.

The downfall of self-publishing is just that; if you don’t know how or don’t have the funds to push the book yourself, it is just going to sit there and not sell. Sure it is gratifying to see a finished product with your name on it, but holding some cash in your hand from a sale of said book is an even bigger thrill.

I’ve been trying to keep the author of the book, Darren Taylor, in the loop as to what is happening with all the things I am trying to do. I am sure that he will agree to a local publicists meeting. We’ll have to find the time, though, when all of us are free to meet the publicist group. Wish us luck.

On a side note, rain, rain go the hell away. I say that for me as well as all the flooding victims throughout the country. It is supposed to be a sparkling sunny weekend here in State College, but I will believe that when I see it. The Penn State Nittany Lion football team has its biggest challenge of the season so far when Ohio State comes visiting. I don’t know if we can beat them, but we certainly can’t beat them in rain and mud. So how about all local folks pray for good weather for our evening White Out game.

That is today’s news. Tomorrow Rebecca and I will be back with another interesting blog topic. What do you know, we are working two days in a row. Until then, have a wonderful afternoon, take care and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Joe just left our place

Darren and Joe had a good proof-editing session for their novel Four’s a Crowd. They didn’t change much, just a few words here and there. Joe came to our place with his laptop, and Darren was on our laptop. They each had a copy of the working file open on the computer and called out page numbers for the other to go over; mostly just the parts that were changed the most since the last ordered proof. They worked well together and agreed on a final version to publish.

We went to CreateSpace.com and uploaded the file for review. The self-publishing site will get back to us in 24 hours with their approval of the format. We expect the book to be published tomorrow, and then immediately available to buy on Amazon. Booksellers and libraries should also be able to order it by tomorrow afternoon. Whoo-hoot! Joe worked so hard on the play, Darren worked so hard on adapting it to a novel, and we have all worked hard editing the book, so this a very sweet moment. One more step!

After that, we will look into getting the book on Kindle. We know from putting two of Joe’s previous books on that service that we will need it re-formatted for the e-book structure, and that will take time and/or money to arrange. We will keep you updated.

Joe will be back next Wednesday with an entry, and one of us may possibly write a brief announcement here over the weekend after Four’s a Crowd is published and on sale. Until then, have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: It is Thursday again

Joe is taking care of personal business today, so here is another Thursday blog entry from me. It is a gorgeous day outside with a lot of sunshine and a hint of coolness. Perfect.

We are so close to publication day for Four’s a Crowd and I am so excited. Darren has finished his final edits and put them into the manuscript file, and Joe is doing his final editing in the next few days. Next Thursday we will all get together, put in Joe’s changes, I will update the chapter of contents, and then we will submit the file to our self-publishing site, CreateSpace. Once they approve it, we will push the publish button. Four’s a Crowd could be on sale within two weeks! We will keep you updated.

I wrote last month about the construction noise next door driving Darren and me crazy. Well, it is still going on but a few weeks back the majority of the work moved down the road a ways, and we got a bit of a break from some of the beeps, scraps, bangs, and rumbles. We can still hear it, but it is easier to live with at the moment.

I’m just beginning to read the second book in a series I like. I read Binti, by the author Nnedi Okorafor, earlier this year, and was touched by it. It is the science fiction/fantasy story of a young woman from Africa who goes to another planet to study, and on her journey a tragic event leads her to be an instrument of peace between two species. Heartbreaking, but also full of hope. I look forward to diving into Binti: Home later today.

Joe will be back on Wednesday, and one of us will have an entry on Thursday. As Joe would say, have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Getting Four’s a Crowd ready for publication

As Joe wrote yesterday, he is using a personal day today, and I am doing the blog post. Regular readers know that my husband Darren adapted Joe’s play Kimberly into a novel, Four’s a Crowd. They have been working on it for over four years now, and it is finally close to being published.

Darren and Joe are going through the second proof now, making the final changes. When they are done, probably in the next week or two, we will submit the updated file to CreateSpace and then the book will be available to the public. It is so exciting to be this close.

We have all three put so much work into this book. Joe created four unique characters in his play, and with his feedback Darren expanded them and their world in a novel. I gave advice and edited as best I could, and, plugged everything into CreateSpace’s formatted template. My main correction for the second proof has been to fix indent markers on two chapters that didn’t get done the first time I tackled that problem. Technology grrr. It looks like I got that problem fixed now.

CreateSpace will automatically put the published book on Amazon for us, and we have high hopes for selling it, but we aren’t sure yet how to reach people other than our friends and family to see and buy the novel. Joe and Darren have worked so hard on it, and written a great story of a family overcoming personality conflicts and challenges from aging to find unity. It would be so disappointing if it didn’t sell. I guess the only way to find out is to go forward, do our best, and hope.

Watch this space for updates, and our big announcement once we do publish Four’s a Crowd. I can hardly wait.

I plan to read and edit Four’s a Crowd today

Greetings, readers. The other day I was inspired by Rebecca’s husband Darren. As a lot of you may know, Darren is turning my play Kimberly into a novel. The third draft of Four’s a Crowd is finished. We were looking for readers, with what we call fresh eyes. That way they can pick up on any flaws in logic. So far no luck with readers.

I have decided to take on this section of the project to critique and edit it. Admittedly, I probably know the story too well, but I will try my darndest to stay objective and keep a close eye out for anything that needs correcting.

I don’t have goals very often but I have one now. The goal is to have the thirteen-chapter book read and critiqued twice by August 5th. I leave for Maine a day or two after that. While I’m gone, the project will be turned back over to Darren to make corrections and we will call that the final draft.

The step after that will be to communicate with lawyers, draw up contracts, and then find an agent. I’ve decided that this book is too good to be self-published and sit on shelves because we don’t know how to market it. Between now and August, Rebecca and I will look at a possible list of agents. We will have to have a query letter and also a sample of the finished work ready to send to the agents.

If this book is as good as I think it is, we may be sitting on the launching pad. I don’t think it is going to hit Oprah’s top ten list, but I see it selling much better than my first three books did, which were self-published. Darren’s worked hard on this project, as I did years ago. I’m hoping that Four’s a Crowd will at least get us on the map.

On to other things, my kitty-cat Keekee is looking me right in the face meowing for her dinner. Before editing, I’ll probably give in and give her what she wants. I am pleased to say she got a clean bill of health yesterday at the vet’s office.

Tonight I have very simple plans; reading, reading and more reading. Even though my eyes become strained quickly, I want to finish at least through chapter five tonight. I began using a color coded system in my editing process but that slowed me down tremendously. I think I will grab a tablet, have that next to me, and make my notes there rather than constantly changing font colors. To me the use of that time was counterproductive and I could have gotten more done.

On a whoo-hoot note, I signed my letter of intent to stay here at Arnold Addison Court apartments for another year. Yes, it is small and yes the Penn State crowd can get loud sometimes, but in the end I really like my place. I have no immediate plans to leave. If I’ve counted correctly, I’ll be starting my tenth year here come October. How time flies.

It’s time to get onto other work so I will wrap up with my usual ending, bidding you a good day, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

So close I can taste it

Greetings, readers. By tomorrow at 3pm my second book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, should be for sale. My writing assistant, Rebecca, and I found only one minor mistake in the second proof. Unfortunately we did have to correct it. However, with CreateSpace.com’s new feature to review your proof on-line, once they approve the submitted file again, I will be able to quickly check it tomorrow with the feature and then approve the proof. Then it will be officially for sale!

This morning I sat my alarm for 8:00, forcing myself to get up early. Throughout the rest of this summer I am going to make some major changes in my life. For instance, last night I wanted to stay up and watch television as is my habit, but I made myself go to sleep at a quarter to eleven. It was nice that I had a long morning to get a few things done in the apartment before work time began. I know, I know … Most everybody sleeps during the night. I, as an insomniac, am usually quite awake in the wee hours of the morning. I think once I have made the complete adjustment, my insomnia will go away.

Later on this afternoon, getting back to my books, I intent to walk across the street to Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe to verify how many copies of both books the owner wants to have. Since it is extremely warm today, I dread the walk. Yet we must market and distribute the books ourselves.

That is the big problem in my eyes with self-publishing. Yet so far it has not been too big of a problem. The two local stores carrying my book have been more than cooperative and quite nice about the process.

Lastly, during July, I’m going to fine tune my writing skills and begin a children’s book project, which I thought up last night. It has promise and I think it will be fun to do. Also, in August I am going away for a week. I believe that wordpress.com has a feature to republish posts. Perhaps I will put up one or two of the most popular reads from my blog since I began blogging in December.

Until quite soon, stay cool and healthy, and have a great day.