Thursday, February 28, 2013

Revise or revision?

I always like to know the meaning of words so when I wrote out the word revision in my title up there for this post, I had to stop and think about it. What is revision? Is it the remaking of something? Does the word mean revisiting? Here is the dictionary's overview:

revision [rɪˈvɪʒən]
1. the act or process of revising
2. (Social Science / Education) Brit the process of rereading a subject or notes on it, esp in preparation for an examination
3. (Communication Arts / Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) a corrected or new version of a book, article, etc.

This was not helpful, because it was not what I wanted to talk about. So back I went. To look up revise:

tr.v. re·vised, re·vis·ing, re·vis·es
1. To prepare a newly edited version of (a text).
2. To reconsider and change or modify: I have revised my opinion of him. See Synonyms at correct.
n. Printing (rvz, r-vz)
A proof made from an earlier proof on which corrections have been made.

That is actually more along the lines of what revise or revisions mean to me.

Now how do I do it? That is the subject today.

I write my first draft all the way through, and yes, I am a discovery writer as Brandon Sanderson calls us. That is to say, I invent my stories as I go. Then once I am all the way finished with the story, I let it sit for a time. Don't look at it, don't tinker with it, go off and write something else. Do a lot of reading. Then come back and do draft two. This draft is the one where I am looking to eliminate unnecessary words, and rewrite sentences that are just not written well. I also add in a bit of color to the page, i.e. I sometimes have the white page syndrome where there is no setting. Then almost immediately upon finishing that draft, I go straight into fixing story. That is because now I have re-read the whole work and know pretty much what needs fixing.

Once I am finished with that draft, I go back and do another check for words, sentence structure, and story. I take another short break from the work, considering some what if possibilities. If those do not work for me, I know I am good to do a final polish. If they do work for me, and the story, I may make a new copy of the work and try out the new what ifs. Sometimes it is my writer's mind just tinkering. Sometimes it is my creative mind making the work better. It is trial and error to discover.

Then, if all is well, and the polish is finished, it is time to go out to be read by first readers. Usually these are my friends who are writers and big readers. I take all that input and incorporate it or consider it, and do another draft, and another polish. Then I begin the work of query and synopsis, and that, dear Murderer, is a whole post unto itself.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cool free stuff for self-publishers (and every writer)

Look around the Internet, and you’ll find mountains of free resources at your fingertips. Of course, some are more useful than others. The good news is that “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply to free stuff—there’s a lot of valuable information and tools out there that won’t cost you a dime.

These are some of the best resources I’ve found so far. They aren’t just for self-published authors, either. Every writer needs to self-promote to some degree these days, so if you have books out (or you’re planning to have books out soon), take advantage of these cool freebies.

This free service gives you access to a big pool of readers who frequently review on Amazon. When you add your book to the Author Marketing Club database, reader members can request a review copy through AMC. While you’re not guaranteed reviews, your book(s) enjoy wider exposure and higher review potential.

AMC also maintains a centralized listing of websites to promote your book during Kindle Select free days, provides a forum for displaying book trailers, and offers resources such as free ebooks and webinars on marketing and promotion. In fact, I’m signed up for tomorrow’s free webinar, “Book Marketing is Bulls*&$ - The Truth About Selling Books.” Sounds fun, right?

This free weekly email mini-newsletter promises “one actionable tip in your inbox, every Monday,” and it delivers. I’ve gotten lots of helpful tips from this mailing so far, and have been so impressed that I went ahead and bought Laura’s book, Fire Up Amazon! Tweak Your Amazon Presence to Perfection.

You can sign up for Magic Mondays here – scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your email in the signup box.

BookBaby is a self-publishing service that charges a flat fee to turn your manuscript into an ebook and upload it to major ebook retailers. They also offer extra services like book cover design, editing, and author website creation. The difference between BookBaby and services like Smashwords and Lulu, which are free to publish through but take a percentage of royalties, is that the flat fee is the only cost—you earn 100% of royalties.

Personally, I use Smashwords and Kindle Direct, but BookBaby’s services make sense for people who don’t have the time or the inclination to go through all the necessary steps to bring a manuscript from Word document to published ebook.

But that’s not the free stuff I’m talking about here. BookBaby has a free weekly newsletter that offers tips, resources, and helpful advice that writers can actually use, whether or not they publish through BookBaby. For example, a few weeks ago they offered a free ebook called 5 Secrets of Successful Authors: A Guide to Self-Publishing that has a lot of great info.

If you’re an outliner / plotter, you’ll love this free storyboarding program. It’s got all sorts of cool features, views, and tools. I don’t outline, but I still have fun with Storybook --- and it’s great for keeping track of series characters and subplots.

Grab a free copy of Storybook 4 here – click on the big green Download button on the right side of the screen to get to the download page.

Okay, this isn’t exactly useful – it’s just fun. Self-publishing service has compiled data from thousands of bestselling books and used it to create a formula that “predicts” whether your title has the potential to be a bestseller. You can also do a Lulu Titlefight, and pit two book titles against each other to see which one comes out on top.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rising and Falling Action

I thought I would do a short post today, with illustration. I think everyone knows that stories have three acts. Act one is the introduction of the story, act two is the exposition of the story, and act three is the resolution of the story. But in there between and around all those acts are rising and falling activities.

What does that look like exactly?

Something like that. But really, in my opinion, there would be more mountains before the climax. I mean, a story is not all rising action from the beginning of the story to the climax. Although there are a select number of writers (ahem, film makers) who believe it is. They write all action from beginning to middle, and then slowly let it fall from climax to end. Not necessarily a bad thing, unless it is breathless action, then the reader will be utterly exhausted by the end.

What do you think Murderers?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Self-publishing? Why your formatting matters

Once you’ve written a great book, edited the crap out of it, and designed or commissioned a super-amazing cover, you’re ready to take your Word file and throw it up on Amazon as a Kindle book (and/or Smashwords as a multi-format ebook) for all the world to read. Right? Not quite. You still have to worry about formatting.

 The way your ebook looks on the page is really, really important. Bad formatting will ruin the reader experience – and people will not be happy. Here’s a few examples from Amazon reviews of self-published books with Formatting Gone Wrong. From a three-star review:
“The other reviews cover the material quite well, I wanted to mention the Kindle formatting.

It's really bad…Speaking of whitespace, the spacing is bizarre throughout the text, with large blocks of vertical whitespace appearing for no good reason.

I could go on and on with examples. It's clear they just did a quick and dirty conversion of whatever they had to the Kindle and said "ship it".”
This one, after a reviewer that was basically happy with the story but gave it two stars overall:
“Finally were the many format / layout and punctuation errors. Indents disappeared for whole chapters then reappeared and the paragraph spacing was inconsistent. I put up with these and the punctuation issues because of the story, but this is basic stuff that shouldn’t be present. The overall impression is of something rushed out, which is a pity.”
And a one-star review:
“Do NOT buy this in Kindle format! 90% of the text is unreadable. Wasted money. I've tried playing with the page orientation and text size but nothing works.”
There are thousands of review examples like this, and many where the reviewer would have enjoyed the story and left a high star rating – if not for the terrible formatting.

When you convert a Word document or a PDF to one of the popular ebook formats like .mobi (Kindle) or epub (Barnes & Noble, Apple iStore), it’s not going to look the same way it does in the original version unless you have the formatting right. If you already know how to prepare a .doc or text file for e-publishing – great!

If you don’t…read on.

You’ve got basically two choices when it comes to formatting your self-published title. You can do it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. It’s possible to do it yourself without a high level of technical proficiency (you will need to know your way around Microsoft Word and understand the basic ideas of file conversion). 

Formatting: The DIY option 

Here’s the best explanation ever for preparing and converting a file for publishing to the Kindle format [Warning! The lovely Katie Elle, who wrote this post, is an erotica author, and some images on her site (not this particular page) are NSFW (not safe for work) – so read this from home]: Hopefully bulletproof KISS e-book formatting with Word & Calibre.

Katie’s instructions are easy to follow, and helpfully illustrated with screenshots. Obviously, you’ll need Microsoft Word for this (OpenOffice or its newest incarnation, LibreOffice, may work – though I’ve heard of people having problems getting OO to work properly). If you’ve never heard of Calibre, it’s a free ebook management and conversion program, and you can download it here. 

Smashwords: If you’re planning to self-publish to more than just Amazon, Smashwords is a great place to cover just about all the other distribution channels. However, you can’t use the .mobi file created in the above method to upload to Smashwords. They do have a .mobi option for uploading ebooks – but it’s in beta, and many users have reported formatting problems.

Instead, what you’ll have to do is prepare your Word document for Smashwords’ “Meatgrinder” – a program that converts the book into all the necessary formats for distribution. Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, offers a free style guide that explains just how to do it, appropriately titled the Smashwords Style Guide. 

Formatting: The outsourcing option 

If you’re not confident that you can prepare a great-looking ebook interior, you may want to consider hiring someone to do it for you. This one-time investment doesn’t have to be huge (in fact, you can find an ebook formatter for $50 or less, as long as you don’t have a lot of interior images, charts, tables and such – and if you’re writing fiction, you probably don’t) – and the peace of mind knowing that your book will be presented in error-free format is worth it.

Where do you find ebook formatters? Smashwords can help with that, too. They maintain a list of low-cost ebook formatters (and cover designers!) for the price of an email request. Find instructions to get The List on this page.

So make sure your ebook formatting is the best it can be, and avoid detracting from the reading experience. Don’t let bad formatting get in the way of your great story!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another blog hop!

Hi, all!  

These Blog Hops have become pretty popular. Today's venture features a new Twilight Times Books author, Dora Machado. We welcome Dora to the TTB stable of authors. ;o)

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series. She holds a master's degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in history from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan and grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a preference for history, and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long and winding walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazingly clever readers who share in her mind's adventures. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats.

To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, you can email her at, find her on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Here is the blog hop list of links:

Please check them out at your leisure! 

The Stonewiser Series

What would happen to our world if our history was erased? What would our world be like without books or without the internet? Without the history and assurances that those sources provide? What would happen to our sense of self, to our culture, to our institutions, if we didn't have any reliable way to trace our past?

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Debut Novel
  • Finalist for the 2009 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Gold Medal for SF/F
  • Finalist for the 2010 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for SF/F
Dora Machado is the author of the award-winning Stonewiser series, which tells the story of Sariah, a powerful stonewiser who can imprint and retrieve tales stored in rock, the only thing that can withstand the rot destroying her world. But even the stones aren't telling her the whole truth anymore...

"Stonewiser is a finely crafted fantasy with unique concepts, and a vivid living world that will draw readers in and not let go." – Midwest Book Review

"Machado's descriptions are rich in detail – you'll feel the eels nipping at your toes – and her characterization is strong. Sariah is well developed and faces brutal conflicts in this story of adventure, politics and magic." – Romantic Times

"Once in a while, a new fantasy/adventure comes out that doesn't travel well-worn paths in the genre but instead gives us a vivid new world, an exciting set of original characters, and page after page of non-stop intrigue, action, twists, revelation, and fun. STONEWISER is the best to appear in years." – A reviewer.


Now, for my part of this venture, I’ve been asked to answer the following questions. I know you've seen these before, but in case you missed them, here they are again!

1: What is the working title of your book?

Virtuoso: a Gus LeGarde Mystery

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

When my daughter Melanie was a student at the Eastman School of Music, the setting called to me. It just needed to have a mystery happening in those hallowed halls! Also, we took my grandson Julian to the Rochester Museum of Art many times, and I used to stand in front of one particular Monet painting for long periods of time. I decided it deserved a place in one of my mysteries, too!

3: What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery and Suspense

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Male lead – Yannick Bisson (he plays William Murdoch in Murdoch Mysteries) as Gus LeGarde

Female lead –  Jessica Brown Findlay (she plays Sibyl in Downton Abbey!)  as Camille Coté:

5.0 Synopsis of your book?

Art and music collide in this special edition based on Dale Lazar's ancestor, Emma Cunningham. When a handsome but decadent Greek tenor from the Eastman School of Music stalks Gus’s stepdaughter, Shelby, Gus rallies to protect her innocence. He asks for help from his old friend, Byron who works at the college. Gus and Byron become involved in an investigation dealing with a Monet canvas found in a plane wreck. Is the painting real, or fake? And why are people dying to protect the secrets? Through it all, Gus discovers a shocking tie to the past through the artwork of his great, great aunt, Emma Mabel Clark. 

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will be submitting it to my publisher, Lida Quillen at Twilight Times Books, soon.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About two months.

8: What other work of fiction would you compare this story to within your genre?

9: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Shelby is put in serious danger in this episode – she’s now a fully blossomed teenager who falls madly for a young Greek tenor at the Eastman School of Music. It drives Gus and Camille mad!

 Thanks for stopping by and don't hesitate to drop me a line at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com. ;o)

Friday, February 15, 2013

How Being a Detective Influenced My Writing, by Chris Karslen, author of BYZANTINE GOLD

copyright 2013, Chris Karslen

When I retired after twenty-five years in law enforcement, I thought I was pretty much done with all things police related, other than watching a couple of shows on television. I could finally write the romance story I’d had in my head for three decades. Since it was a romance and not a thriller or mystery, it never occurred to me that I’d wind up directly and indirectly applying skills I learned conducting investigations. How wrong I was.
My first two books, Heroes Live Forever, and Journey in Time, were part of my paranormal series. Heroes has a reincarnation aspect to the story. The hero and his best friend are aware of what is happening when they enter the experience. The heroine has no memory of her previous life and no connection to the hero. In order to convince her that the outrageous tale he tells is true, as I wrote the scene, I put him across the interview table from me. I mentally returned to my detective time. I asked myself what questions would I ask a victim/witness/suspect? What answers would they need to give me to convince me they were telling the truth? To convince the heroine, they had to convince me first. If I believed it, I could make it believable on the page.
By the time I started Journey in Time, I knew I wasn’t done with my police experience. This story required knowledge of evidence, along with another exchange involving an outrageous tale to convert a doubter to a believer. In this story a modern couple has been transported back to Fourteenth Century England, an England preparing for war with France. The hero in this book is the best friend from the first novel. He is a product of reincarnation. He has lived in this time and place before and retains his memories from the period. The heroine is a modern London attorney who has been caught in the time portal with the hero. This time it is his turn to sit across the interview table in my mental interrogation room. I put myself in her place and questioned him relentlessly. I searched for the answers needed to make me believe I was part of a terrible and dangerous situation, with no clue how it happened or how to return to the modern world. Unless they find a way out, he will die in battle. History cannot be changed, including his death.  
In that story, there’s a scene where the king orders the heroine to go with a wool merchant who’s a favorite of the queen. The heroine is to be his “guest” for an unspecified amount of time. Away from the palace the man is a vicious brute who attempts to sexually assault her. She fights off the initial assault, but is badly beaten in the process. The hero locates her and brings her back to court and the wool merchant back to stand trial. The merchant falsely accuses her of a crime. His testimony is nothing but lies in an effort to defend the beating he gave her. The heroine must present her side of the case before the king and entire court. I used my experience testifying in criminal trials and had the heroine ask the questions a prosecutor would’ve asked me or the defendant. I had the heroine use evidence that I’d use, if this had been my case to present to a judge or jury. Lacking the technical equipment and scientific means we have at our fingertips today, I relied on the most obvious physical evidence available that could be seen and touched. I didn’t want the trial to be easy for her. In my head, I laid out the crime scene and visualized what she could take from there to court. I went over the scene again and again, like a detective does looking for anything I might’ve missed. 
My last two books, Golden Chariot and Byzantine Gold, are from a romantic thriller series. Golden Chariot involves the murder of a Turkish government agent, artifact smuggling, and the kidnapping of the heroine, a nautical archaeologist. She has a loose connection to a private collector who purchases looted relics on the Black Market. The Turkish agent sent to investigate the first agent’s murder must also investigate the heroine. Between my detective background and my research, I was able to put together enough of the foreign legal process to make the investigation relatively accurate. It should be noted that much is different with regards to due process and the judiciary system. I was also able to use the heroine’s ignorance of how a foreign agency employs due process to create a great deal of fear in her. 
Toward the end of the story, she is kidnapped and taken to a contract killer’s compound. I had a very basic, I stress very basic, idea of the tactics needed to extract her. Here my background came in handy but not as a result of my personal experience but from someone I knew. A friend of mine who heads up a SWAT team for a major city was also in the Marine Corps Reserves. After the invasion of Iraq, he was deployed to both Baghdad and Fallujah. His job was to teach young Marines urban crisis entry. He had retired from both the police department and the military when I was writing Golden Chariot. I called upon him to help me with the tactics, including the use of explosives and how the extraction team would deploy once they gained entrance to the compound. Phone calls, emails, and drafts went back and forth. He was a great help, and I was, and am, incredibly grateful for his patience and assistance. 
Byzantine Gold involves the contract killer from Golden Chariot, in addition to a terrorist cell. Bent on revenge, the killer is hunting the hero. In a scene early in the story, he plans to shoot the hero. I fired several different types of weapons over my career. I was able to use my knowledge of range capacity, in addition to types of weapons the killer might employ, to build that scene. I also used my experience in a later scene involving a sniper type attack. 
In the end of Byzantine Gold, there’s a tactical operation which involves the terrorists. As I mentioned, my tactical knowledge is limited. But once again, I was able to call upon a friend who is more than a friend, I asked my wonderful husband. He spent three years in the military and thirty-one in law enforcement. While we sat in a hotel bar in Chicago, he helped me lay out the schematics for the operation on cocktail napkins. While I was talking about terrorists and how they’d approach, I noticed the man next to me giving me a rather strange look—wary and more than a little suspicious. I half-expected the FBI or DHS or someone from one of the alphabet agencies to rush into the bar and drag me off for questioning. My husband and I quickly inserted a code word for terrorist. 
In conclusion, when I began writing I was convinced I would never relive my career through my characters. I did not want to write cop stories. I love to read them and have several favorite authors who write fantastic ones. They weren’t for me. I laugh now as I see in every story a part of the last twenty-five years coming through my characters’ lives. Fortunately, it has been to our mutual benefit.  
A native of Chicago, former police detective and now romantic suspense author Chris Karslen grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents loved traveling, a passion they passed on to her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
Though her desire to write began in her teens, Chris spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies before she decided to pursue her dreams. Chris is the author of the romantic thrillers Golden ChariotByzantine Gold and numerous other romance novels.
Now a full time writer, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.
Learn more about Chris and her work on her website and blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Midpoint in a story

We have covered in our writing tip Wednesday past, the Hook, the Plot Turn, and the Clincher. Join me now as we discuss what happens to the book we are writing at the Midpoint.

In this tip, the character will face and be influenced by whatever big thing is in his or her life. In most stories this is the figure who has life and death power. This is the middle of the journey, or the Midpoint. All the previous steps have been moving to this place, and all that come after will move out from it. This section is symbolized by an encounter with someone or thing with incredible power. For the end of the story to take place, the story character (or its life as he or she knows it) must be affected so that the new story(the satisfying ending) can come into being. The midpoint is for that character to either keel over and die or move to the next level.

For example: Scarlett yaps with the Yankees, Harry Potter tussles a troll, Percy Jackson mangles Medusa, and you dear Murderer, will have to come up with something big and scary, (even if it isn't a fantasy creature) to slap your character around, too, if you want to have an effective middle. Just remember, it has to send him or her off in the right direction -- toward the ending!

Hope this helps you, dear Murderer. Come on back next time and see what I have for you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Self-Publishers: What's Your Motivation?

Oh yeah, we know this is what you're thinking!
E-books and self-publishing have opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for today’s authors. Before the rise of ereaders like Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and a huge, shiny array of tablets and smart phones, authors who wanted people to actually read the stuff they wrote, instead of scribbling stories for personal edification (ain’t nobody got time for that!), had the following choices: 

Commercial publishing 

Having one of the Big Six (now Five) publish your book and sell it in bookstores and stuff, and sometimes actually promote it. Time from finished manuscript to publication: 18 months to 50 years, depending on how stubborn you are. 

Small press publishing 

Having one of the Not Big Six (now Five) publish your book, and maybe sell it in bookstores sometimes. Time from finished manuscript to publication: 2 years to 50 years (they take longer to read manuscripts because they don’t all require agents). 

Vanity publishing 

Paying a vanity press a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to format and print your book, and not sell it in bookstores. You have to do all the selling. Usually from the trunk of your car at flea markets and stuff. Time from finished manuscript to publication: 1 month to 6 months or thereabouts. 

Self-publishing / print on demand (POD)

 Before ebooks, “self-publishing” meant designing your own cover, typesetting your print book, and paying a printer to make books for you. For POD, the books are printed one at a time, as they’re ordered by readers. Hardcore self-publishing at this time was paying to have hundreds or thousands of copies printed at once (hey, bulk discount!) and either paying a distributor thousands of dollars to try and get your book in stores, going around to stores yourself begging them to carry your books, or selling them from the trunk of your car at flea markets and such. Time from finished manuscript to publication: 1 month to 6 months or thereabouts. 

Today’s self-publishing: Faster, easier, cheaper 

The difference ebooks and e-publishing platforms have made for modern authors is like magic. Now, you can bring a book from finished manuscript to publication in less than a week—and potentially pay nothing. Zero. Zip. If you can format your manuscript the right way and design a cover (which is not necessarily recommended – I’ll expound on formatting and cover design in later posts), your book can be out there and waiting for readers to buy in a couple of days.

The question is: Should you do it?

When it comes to self-publishing, your own motivations and drives behind your decision to go it alone are essential tools, just as important as your clean, readable formatting and your incredibly eye-catching cover design. Before you push that Publish button on Amazon or Smashwords or BookBaby or Lulu, make sure you know exactly WHY you’ve decided to self-publish.

Here are some great reasons to self-publish ebooks: 

You’ve already published with a commercial press or small publisher, and the rights have reverted to you. Self-publishing is a fantastic way to revitalize a backlist and bring your books back into circulation. 

You have a niche book, or a book that doesn’t fit into a genre category. It’s hard to find a publisher who’s willing to take a chance on an unusual book. With self-publishing, authors can release project that never would’ve found a home otherwise—without paying thousands to a vanity press. 

You’re planning to write more than one book and gradually build up an audience. Just like other types of publishing, self-publishing isn’t a good choice for a primary career. Can you make a living at it? Sure – but you have to realize that it’s going to take work, and multiple books, before you’re earning significant income.

The good thing here about self-publishing is that if you do want to work toward getting some decent income, every aspect of the process is under your control, and you can experiment without having to wait for a publisher to take change decisions through a committee (the wheels of trade publishing turn slooooowly). You can make changes to your price point, your cover, your book descriptions, your promotional efforts, and other things with the potential to affect sales, whenever you want to.

However, there are also some not-so-great reasons to self-publish: 

Your magnum opus, the single book you’ve written that’s totally brilliant and will definitely change the world forever, has been rejected by hundreds of agents and publishers and YOU’LL SHOW THEM. Anger and revenge are never good reasons to do anything (unless you’re a fictional character), especially self-publishing. This gig is a lot of work, and your chances of making a go at it increase with every new title you can release.

If you’ve only got one book, and it’s been rejected by every single person who works in publishing, do yourself a favor and resist the temptation to rush your masterpiece to the masses. Find out why it’s been rejected. Get some objective opinions from people who aren’t related to you or know you socially, and actually listen and engage in some critical thinking about your book. Also, write another book. The act of writing helps you learn to improve.

You’re going to get rich! Yes, yes. Amanda Hocking. John Locke. E. L. James (though technically, she didn’t self-publish anything). The guy who wrote Wool. There’s a handful of examples of self-publishers who hit the big time in spectacular fashion. There’s also only a handful of commercially published authors who are rich.

If you head into your self-publishing journey expecting money to pour into your bank account, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. But if you keep writing, keep working on both the craft and promotion ends of the deal, and keep planning ahead, you can build yourself a nice stream of extra cash—and more importantly, share your work with people who want to read it all around the world. 

So, leave a comment and let everyone know... what's your motivation?