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Adventures in Indie Publishing – The Sequel


Pulling the Trigger

My adventure in Indie Publishing has begun in earnest. I’ve made the decision of the “What” (my short story Lost Man’s Parish) and the “How” (Smashwords). Now it’s time to pull the trigger. I’ve started investing time and money toward this Indie effort. Too late to turn back. Actually, I’m feeling really good about my decision. Which is great, because there are a whole lot more decisions that I have to make. Just me. By myself with no one to back me up. No Risk. No Reward. I jump in.

eBook Formatting: To DIY or Not To DIY?  This was a no brainer decision for me. I want in the Smashwords Premium Catalog.  Your book has to meet clearly defined criteria to be accepted. Again, I took a realistic look at what I can and cannot do. eBook Formatting is a low cost alternative for the DIY. Here are a few things to consider before you make a decision:

  • I Can’t Find the Any Key! Not good with computers? Or maybe you’ve mastered email, but don’t quite have a good handle on Microsoft Word? Rather than struggling with formatting, I’d suggest hiring it done. The service I used started at $35.00. Most of the others I checked out fell in about the same range.  Let the experts do it. You have other things to worry about.
  • I Can Make Word Dance! Okay, so you’re an MS Word Master.  You love to fiddle with the software, getting it to behave as you think it should. Maybe DIY is right for you. I suggest downloading the free style guide from Smashwords.com. Follow the steps carefully and you should avoid problems. Smashwords has detailed instructions on how to fix things if you fumble a bit.
  • I’m a Super Busy Person With No Time. OR I Just Don’t Want To (This is Me). Hire it done. I’m not kidding. You have so much more to focus on at this stage.

Cover Design: I know my skill sets. Visual arts don’t fall in my wheel house, so I started looking for a good cover design service.

  • Remember the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared – Whether you’re publishing a short story or novel length manuscript, be prepared with all the marketing information you would normally have before submitting to a publisher. Have that back cover blurb ready, so you can provide it to the cover artist.
  • Know before you go – Also think about things you think would be nice to have on your own cover. Note: there is a whole science to this book design thing. I leave it to the experts, those talented artists who see in pictures.  The very easiest way to communicate what you want to the artist, is to find existing covers that you like and have in mind for the story.  Many of them ask you to do this, so they can get a sense of your preferred style.
  • Let Go and Trust – We all have pictures in our head of the “perfect” book cover. Can you communicate that to the cover designer? Maybe. In the end, you have to trust your cover artist. My experience as been very positive. These amazing artist take the 250 word blurb I give them and create this whole world in one picture. It blows me away every time.

The Big Reveal!


Sentenced to life imprisonment for murder at age fifteen, Bill Dolan has become one of the most feared convicts in the Lost Man’s Parish Territorial Prison. Devoid of  hope, it is a place of survival of the meanest and most amoral. For thirteen hard years, he has survived and thrived among other violent offenders. In a last act of vindictive spite, Bill’s grandmother uses her influence to condemn his little brother to life in the Parish. Andy is a peculiar boy with unsettling powers. Tales of Andy’s miracles quickly spreads among the greedy convicts.

The specter of the Parish, a presence of pure evil, hungrily sniffs out the new resident. When the purity of Andy’s child-like innocence threatens to bring about change, the specter is desperate to destroy him. Bill must find a way to get Andy out of the escape proof prison, before they both succumb to the evil living within its walls.

Now Available directly from Smashwords for multiple E-Readers. Note: This is the easiest place to purchase my books. You can select from a variety of eBook formats for all devices (Kindle, iBook, Nook, PDF, etc.)

Also available from the Apple iBook Store and txtr.com. It can take a few weeks for a site to begin distribution. Check my website for new retailers as my book comes online for sale at their sites. You may notice Amazon isn’t on this list. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) requires a separate upload with additional publication  costs (Special eBook Formatting and a unique ISBN at an additional charge.) I intend to publish to both distributors for my novel length project in the future.

If you have the opportunity to download either the free excerpt or the full story, I would appreciate you leaving any comments you have on the retailer site or here on the blog. Enjoy!

Adventures in Indie Publishing


The Decision

“Never Get Too Comfortable” is a phrase I lived by coming up in the ranks of fresh faced Project Managers.  You miss valuable opportunities and life experiences which could help you in the future. I’ve tried to stick with that motto in my writing career as well. By challenging my skills and perceptions of who I think I am as a writer, I’ve grown as a professional.

I started off on this writing journey as an “Epic Fantasy” gal. Opportunities (some might call them setbacks) have helped me to expand my career. I’ve written Horror, Romance and Dark Fantasy with a touch of Thriller. There has always been a lingering doubt I’ve had stuck in my head for years. “I only write novel length stories. I CAN’T write short stories!” Well, I decided to challenge this assumption and I wrote a short horror story called “Lost Man’s Parish.”

The first magazine politely declined. As I was preparing to send the story onto the next one, a thought struck me. I’m already taking a risk by writing outside my comfort zone. Why am I going through someone else’s process when I could give Indie Publishing a try? The old stigma of the “Vanity Press” is slowly fading. Indie Publishing is about controlling your own fate and art form. I’m not naive. I understand by choosing this route, everything is on me: editing, book formatting, cover design, selecting a distributor, marketing. No Risk. No Reward.

  • Where to start – The first step was to make sure my manuscript was properly edited and professional.  There is stiff competition out there vying for reader attention. And there is some not so good stuff as well. I want to stand out. Delivering a quality product will help me be noticed and build upon my reputation.
  • Choose Wisely Young Padawan – The eBook Industry offers vast market potential. I’ll need someone savvy to distribute my work for me. I chose to stick with either Amazon or Smashwords for distribution. I already have a relationship with both of them. After taking a look at their services and existing short story formats, I decided to go with Smashwords. They seem a little more “Horror friendly” in their library. They also have helpful resources for the first-timer. A huge plus!

Update: Roughly a week after I made my decision to Indie Publish, a life event underscored for me how important it is to not get too comfortable. Writing is a business and sometimes things change. This can be good or bad or both. The smart business person plans ahead and looks for many opportunities.

Next Week on DT&J: Pulling the Trigger on my Indie project.

Sneak Peek at Lost Man’s Parish!


Now Available on Smashwords for multiple E-Readers