Monday, February 26, 2018

Meredith's Monday Musings: Self-Publishing

Hi Everyone!

Happy Monday!! We’re at the end of February. Wow! I can’t believe it. We’re almost done with two months in 2018 already. Where is the time going? 

Today’s Meredith’s Monday Musing post is all about: Self-Publishing! 

I self-published my first book, The Officer’s Little Girl in November of 2017. It was so awesome to finally accomplish this goal I had for myself. I’ve been an author for over three years now and I have very much enjoyed getting to work with my publisher and I will continue to do so for certain books. However, after seeing and hearing so many other authors self-publishing, I wanted to try it out for myself to see how it was. 

Before I had fully committed to the idea of self-publishing my first book, I was scared to do so. I didn’t think I’d be able to find a decent editor or cover artist. On top of that, I was petrified about having to deal with Amazon. With how difficult they could be sometimes, I was scared of what would happen if I had a problem with them. I wouldn’t have a publisher to run to, I’d have to figure it out myself. 

Once I got was ready to move past my fears, I asked around to find out who might be a good editor for my story. After hearing multiple glowing reviews for Kate Richard’s editing company, Wizards of Publishing, I decided to go with her. Not gunna lie, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Kate edited my story and she really got into it, picking up small errors that I had never noticed before. Along with that, she taught me a few important things when it came to telling a story. She really is an amazing editor!

While I was working on my edits, which there were many, I asked around about who might be a good to use as a cover artist to make my cover for this book. I finally decided on Maria of Lunatic Designs. Before she got working, we had a conversation about what I was wanting my cover to look and feel like. Three days later, she sent me the cover I have on my story today. I was so impressed with her. She listened to everything I said and incorporated it all into the cover. It was great. 

The best thing about these two ladies too were that they were super affordable. I thought self-publishing would be expensive, but it really isn’t. Within two weeks I made back all the money I had spent on the cover and my edits. So, that was really nice. 

Now that I had my book all set to go, I had to format it. I had heard from others that this was really tricky to do, but thanks to it wasn’t. You just simply upload your book and cover and they format it for you. You save the copies of it and it’s easy peasy. Plus, it’s free! 

The moment finally came for me to upload my book onto Amazon. I followed all of the steps they laid out and at the end, pressed the “Publish” button. Here’s where the hardest part of the whole process was...waiting for the book to go live. ;-) I’m not that patient of a person, so when it ended up taking about 25 hours to go live (which is completely normal), I was ready to go crazy. But then, I saw my book up for sale on Amazon and all the craziness melted away and was replaced by a sense of accomplishment. I had survived the self-publishing process and it truly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was pretty darn easy. 

There is one thing that I haven’t mentioned yet and is what really made this whole process as easy as it was. Our author community. When you self-publish a book, yes everything is on you. However, with how sweet and supportive our community is, if I had any problems at all, there was always someone there to help me. I felt really touched with how much encouragement I got from so many about self-publishing my first book. I think this goes to show just how truly special and loving our little community is. I look forward to self-publishing more books because I know that even though everything is on me, I’ll have a great support network behind me. <3 

So, if any author is thinking about giving self-publishing a try, I say go for it! It truly is easy and fun. But be warned, watching your sales report on KDP can get a little addicting. Haha! ;-) 

That’s all I have for today. Happy Monday, everyone! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Meredith's Monday Musings: Blurbs

Hi All!

Happy Monday! It’s the start of a new week and I’m ready to take it head on! How about y’all? 

Today’s topic for Meredith’s Monday Musing is: Blurbs. 

I have to admit, I hate writing blurbs with a passion. They seriously suck. Why do they suck, you ask? They really do because an author writes a story, say it’s 50,000 words. Now, Amazon wants us to condense that story into basically a 300 word summary. That’s super hard to do! 

On top of that, authors need to figure out how to make the blurb make readers want to read their stories without giving away the entire plot. Lets face it, if a blurb gives away the entire story plot, no one will want to read it. Yet, authors have to give away a bit of the plot to get readers attention. 

Finally, authors have to word their blurbs carefully because if they don’t, they run the risk of Amazon putting their books into “The Dungeon” because of it. This is really bad news for authors. It’s almost like the kiss of death to a book. 

So do y’all understand now why writing a blurb is hard? It’s like having to work with a double edge sword. You can’t do this, but if you do that you set your book up to fail too. So it’s a very fine balancing act. 

All right, that’s all the time I have for today. Happy Monday! 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Meredith's Monday Musings: Valentine's Day!

Hi Guys and Gals!

Happy Monday! Are you all excited for this week? This Wednesday is Valentine’s Day or Single Awareness Day if you don’t have a partner. ;-) It’s also the first day of Lent for all you Catholics out there. 

Today’s Meredith’s Monday Musing post is all about: Valentine’s Day!

I have a confession to make. I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I know, I sound like a bitter person. I’m really not. Here’s the thing, this holiday is focused pretty much on couples. So to begin with, if you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend, it makes you very conscious about that fact and most likely, make you a little blue about it. That’s not good. No holiday should make a person feel bad. 

Secondly, even if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, then you have the added stress of what you should or should not get them. Who wants to have that stress? Plus, it kind of makes me sad that people need to have a holiday to specifically get grand gestures from their boyfriend/girlfriend about how they feel. Maybe it’s me, but I feel like people should express their feeling to their boyfriend/girlfriend and do gestures of affection for them all year round. Not just on a holiday that makes it where you have to. 

As I said earlier, yes I know that I sound bitter about this. I’m really not. It’s just a holiday that I think has some flaws in it. 

On one happy note, a positive thing about Valentine’s Day is the day after, all of the chocolate that didn’t sell gets marked on sale. Who doesn’t love a sale on chocolate? I know this chocolacholic does. ;-) 

That’s all I have for today. Happy Monday and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! :-)