Author Advice

Are You an Aspiring Author Unsure Where to Begin?

Check out the content below for some author advice I’ve been able to dish out based on my own, personal experience. This includes rookie mistakes, character and plot development, book marketing, DIY tips, and even writing techniques.

Author Advice

March 2022

Is Retelling a Story Good for Author Marketing?

When I first wrote Braden Hawk, I was initially retelling a story. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, and the Terrian Chronicles is not the Harry Potter retelling that I envisioned it to be.

Do Series Starters Make Good Reader Magnet Books?

What are the best reader magnet books out there? Authors all over the industry have different opinions on this matter. Some say nothing more than a sample suffices. But most will tell you readers never download samples. I’m in that camp. Why would anyone download the first three chapters of a full book?

Sell Books Online and Keep Selling

I titled this post as ‘sell books online’ instead of ‘sell books on Amazon’ for a reason. Amazon is just one key player who is huge in the e-book game in about 15 countries. That said, Amazon can also be overrated. Especially if you’re targeting readers located in Canada, Germany, or Australia, all of which are e-reader hotbeds.

How Successful Authors Earn Their Income

Have you dreamed of going from zero to 100K in your author marketing journey? While you see a lot of blogs online claim this is nearly impossible given market saturation and competition from other sectors in the entertainment industry, it’s possible to hit $8,350 per month (or more), which translates into $100,200/year in author income.

February 2022

Should You Worry About Star Ratings?

If there is one thing us authors obsess over, it’s our star ratings on online retailers. We are trained to believe that our books must hold at least a 3.8-star rating (which rounds up to four stars on places like Amazon) or our books won’t sell. However, we ironically shouldn’t want an overwhelming number of five-star ratings because it doesn’t just de-authenticate the title; it can also arouse the warning sirens on places like Amazon.

How Self-Published Authors Maximize Exposure

Self-published authors often make one huge mistake: They publish too early. And while I’m sure many are publishing great books for specific target audiences, no one is going to buy, let alone read, books that they don’t know exist.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

So many authors ask the question: What is affiliate marketing and how do I earn money from it? I’m not going to lie; while this is a tremendous way to earn a passive income, affiliate marketing is often a two-to-four-year process if you don’t have a following in your chosen niche.

Writing Short Stories: How They Can Catapult Your Growth

Okay, just to be clear, I named today’s post ‘writing short stories.’ However, you can also take it as writing episodic and serialized fiction. So, how can these tiny projects catapult your growth?

Best Book Review Sites

There are many book review sites and blogs you can reach out to. But with so many out there, which ones are the best in the business? It’s a subjective answer, as some sites specializes in specific genres while others invite authors of all genres. Plus, some sites are willing to review specific characters, tropes, and story elements.

Backlist Your Books to Maximize Readership

You can backlist your books to the point you can turn them into bestsellers even if they’ve been around for a few years. For new authors, nothing is more frustrating than watching a book tank in the rankings just 30 or so days after its launch. Or even more frustrating; watching authors generating hundreds of reviews within one week of their latest release.

Rapidly Launch a Book Series

You can launch just one book. But have you ever thought of launching a book series to gain immediate traction on Amazon and, if applicable, other retail outlets? Yes, you can launch a book series, or at least three books in a series, to appease the binge-reading groups, and in today’s society, the binge culture is growing.

How Top Book Promotion Sites Select Titles

Other than BookBub, the top book promotion sites may select a limited number or fewer than 10% of all titles submitted to them. BookBub is at another level and therefore won’t be covered in this post. While you can nail every bit of their criteria time and again, titles they select boil down to whether they feel a book is in high demand from their readers.

What is Amazon A-Plus Content?

Use Amazon A-Plus Content to enhance the credibility of your author brand. If done correctly, this new content outlet from Amazon allows you to add customized logos, banners, and infographics to your books’ sales pages that allows readers to gain even further insight not only on the book or book series they’re browsing, but other series.

Five Book Launch Strategies

We all love good book launch strategies. Especially if we’re new authors who are still building a readership. But you don’t need thousands of email subscribers to launch your book. What if I said you can launch one book, then launch it again, and again? Without changing the book’s title or the cover.

January 2022

Content Mills Explained (Are They Worth It?)

Content mills, also known as content services, provide a steady work environment for freelance writers. And that’s about their only upside. Next to providing steady content and topics writers can choose at their own whim (if they meet a desired word quota), these services often attract authors looking to work and earn full-time income while they work on writing and editing their book series.

10 Daily Habits of Success Authors

Successful authors are cool, collected, and confident people. They realize that, to become successful in their endeavor, they don’t need to hang out behind a Google Doc or a Microsoft Word screen all day concocting their next tale(s). While writing is the main eventer, successful authors realize they must wear a few hats and partake in a few more daily activities.

Sell Your Books to Thousands of Readers

You can sell your books easier than you think. One reason so many self-published authors fail to earn a living is because they overcomplicate things. For some, it may have to do with a bad experience working in the sales field for a major or even a regional company. Seriously, try working in a gym where the regional manager reminds you to sale $40,000 worth of training per month six times a day. 

Content is King and Quality is ACE

Content is king and it always will be, despite the growing resistance of some high-authority blogs out there. Without steady, regular content, your site will not generate solid indexing unless your readers like reading 5,000-word blog posts. And hey, since we’re authors, some of our readers won’t mind the long posts.

What are the Best Genres of Books to Write?

The best genres of books to write in depends more on your personal taste than anything else. Only your readers’ personal tastes should supersede your own. But, hopefully your readers are interested in something you’re already writing. For example, if they read and loved your reader magnet, you already know your ideal genre(s).

Why Your Author Blog Gets No Traffic

It’s no secret a blog gets no traffic, or little traffic, during its earliest days. In fact, some claim it takes over a year before you start seeing decent traffic seep onto your author blog and for the impatient or faint-hearted, they’ll close shop after attracting hundreds of readers after 12 months.

I Added 200 Names to My Mailing List in 24 Hours

My mailing list stagnated throughout January from New Years until the 21st, adding just 67 unique subscribers, or 3.2 subscribers per day. It was by far my worst stretch, and the reason for the low numbers was not because I maxed out my reach. Instead, I joined more sales promos than I should have, causing my signup numbers to tank.

What are Editorial Reviews

Editorial reviews can be a scary endeavor for authors. But they’re well worth it if you can snag a positive editorial review or two. While your loyal readers are only too happy to leave 4 and 5-star reviews (mostly) for your books, editorial reviewers give you a more in-depth outlook since they’re third-party professional reviewers, book critics, and columnists.

Freelance Write Your Way to Self-Publishing Success

You can freelance write while pursuing your self-publishing dreams if you’re interested in ditching the traditional, forty to fifty-hour rat race that consumes our time more than anything else. Even as work from home options become more mainstream, many traditional jobs still take a huge chunk of self-publishing endeavors to the wayside. However, a remedy exists.

What is DIY Self-Publishing?

DIY self-publishing is gaining ground as prices continue to rise and many would-be authors are finding it increasingly difficult to outsource services. This could easily indicate that even self-publishing is for deep-pocketed authors only, and some high-authority blogs are only too happy to tell you successful self-publishing will cost you a fortune.

Are Amazon Ads a Good Marketing Tool?

Amazon ads, along with BookBub and Facebook ads are the three large types of paid advertisements most self-published and indie authors use. But are they a good marketing tool, or a waste of money? I’ve been researching ads over the last two months and I’ve concluded the situation is more subjective than anything else.

Vanity Press Scams: What You Need to Know

If you are looking to self-publish for the first time, you need to read at least a few articles about vanity press scams. These pesky buzzards are all over the self-publishing industry and if there’s one thing you should know, it’s that they often love to change their names and spring up as a “new” company.

How to Break Amazon KDP Select’s Rules (and Get Away With It)

Amazon KDP Select’s rules, if you read them, are among the self-publishing industry’s most anal. I refer to Amazon and its Select program as the Evil Empire, and for good reason:

Author Blogs You MUST Follow

I can list about 50 of the top author blogs I’ve come across. But I’ve noticed five that both appear toward the top of the search engines regardless of what kind of advice I’m searching for. And best yet, they always overdeliver their value.

Think Twice Before You Enroll in Kindle Unlimited

Think twice before you enroll your books into Kindle Unlimited (KU). This post is not intended to discourage you from enrolling in the program, but to caution you against doing so. In fact, I’m taking Wind Wielder, Wind Master, and Wind Keeper through a KU enrollment during their first 90 days of publication, so I don’t have a negative bias. Although I do have a cautionary one.

How to Master KDP Pricing

KDP Pricing is one thing most independent and self-published authors get wrong. If you have just a few books available on Kindle and other bookstores, let me ask you something: Why are you freaking charging between $2.99 and $6.99 for your books?

How to Promote Your Book for Free

You can promote your book for free and attain stellar results. Yes, free book promotion is a longer route than if you were to pay upfront – just as with everything else in the self-publishing industry since paid promotion puts your work in front of readers faster.

Master KDP Categories in 5 Steps

Let’s face it. When you self-publish a book, Amazon gives you the worst selection of KDP categories and they will put you behind the 8-ball if you know nothing about a little-known fact: You can actually place your book in up to 10 categories!

Self-Publishing Process Explained

Contrary to popular belief, the self-publishing process is different among individual authors. For some of us, the process means outsourcing everything except for the writing. For others, it means doing everything with a DIY business model. Also contrary to popular belief, taking the cheaper, yet more time-consuming route, is okay.

KDP Select v. Going Wide Debate

In the ongoing KDP Select v. Going Wide debate, I’ve always said the universal answer is that there isn’t one. However, after my most recent spat with Amazon, I’m rethinking that strategy to the point where I’m on the verge of encouraging readers to download Nook devices and Kobo readers as opposed to just buying Kindles.

Common Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make

I could write a non-fiction bestseller regarding all the mistakes self-published authors make. But there are major pitfalls that will break even the world’s greatest premise. So much, readers probably wouldn’t even look at the self-published book twice if they spot lack of editing, a poor book cover/sales page, few reviews, and hardly any genre tropes.

Use Guest Posting to Increase Your Credibility

If you’re an author, you do not need to host a blog like I do to succeed. You also don’t need to start guest posting at every single turn. However, in time, both will help you increase the credibility of your author brand to both readers and authors.

Should You Outsource Book Formatting?

Book formatting will make or break a book. And although you may have the best book in existence, no one will read the thing if your formatting is off. I’m sure we’ve all come across a product on Amazon that sunk into the doldrums because of poor formatting, and an otherwise 4 or 5 star review turned into a 2 or, at best, 3.

Write for Your Reader

Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, it should come as a no-brainer to write for your reader. Yet these sage words of wisdom become jumbled when aspiring authors conduct research on the “rules of writing.”

Honest Evaluation of Wind Wielder

Okay, I have a major pet peeve: Authors logging onto Goodreads and giving their books 5-star reviews. And since Wind Wielder launched today, January 3rd, 2022, I buckled down and bought my debut novel. I was excited to read the book, and so far, I’ve enjoyed Sion Zona’s adventure. Something I haven’t read about since last October when I took the work through final proofreads.

Authors Should NOT Make New Years Resolutions

As a former personal trainer, new members to any gym should also refrain from making New Years Resolutions. Ditto for anyone looking to undergo anything new. And that includes authors. The infamous New Years Resolution has a higher failure rate than the Cleveland Browns do at finding a decent quarterback. In other words, they almost never work out.

Overnight Success Comes in Small Steps for Authors

Overnight success happens to everyone willing to put in smart work. Note, I said smart, and not necessarily hard work. I’ve always felt hard work to be a thing of the past. And while the grinding will get tough and hard work may be necessary to achieve a few goals, you need to engage in smart work to see through your overnight success as an indie or self-published author.

December 2021

Do You Need to Hire a Professional Editor?

Contrary to popular belief in author circles, you do not need to hire a professional editor, or editors, for a guaranteed successful work. Now, before the Professional Editor Mafia shows up at my door and whacks me, let me explain something: Everything in the self-published/indie author world is subjective, not collective.

How a Sound Author Marketing Plan Built the Foundation

A sound author marketing plan often won’t break records early; but it will contribute to a solid foundation that is to come for the future. It’s like becoming the head coach of an expansion sports team. Year One is all about building the foundation. Sometimes, Year Two and Year Three comprise even more building. Not all the time if your name is the Vegas Golden Knights, but about 98% of the time.

5 Notorious Self-Publishing Myths to Stop Falling For

If you hang around social media forums long enough, self-proclaimed gurus will bombard you with self-publishing myths. Many of these myths may deter you from reaching your dreams to become a full-time self-published author, so my advice is to ignore them all.

Make Money Online When Building an Audience

There are many ways to make money online. And no, online income is nowhere near as easy to earn as experts make it out to be. But it’s more than possible. Especially if you’re willing to hop into full-time, remote work, or if you’re cool with picking up a few niches and freelance writing.

Use SMART Goals to Grow Your Author Business

One of the most beautiful aspects of working as a personal trainer back in the day was the psychology behind it. Therefore, SMART Goals jumped out more than anything else to set up a game plan to help clients exceed even their own wildest expectations.

How to Drive Organic Traffic With an Author Blog

A great debate rages on regarding how to gain organic traffic from readers interested in buying your books. Or at least to sign up for your mailing list.

Become a Better Author by Writing Book Reviews

If you’re an author, you should be writing book reviews at least twice, if not more per month. Even if you’re not a book reviewer, writing reviews will force you to pay attention (or not pay attention) to books that you read. And in doing so, odds are, you will pick up a ton of different ideas and inspiration for your own books.

Use Crossover Fiction to Attract Broader Audiences

Crossover fiction is a phrase up for debate. However, most agree the phrase points to a work of fiction intended for one specific target audience that will, in time, pertain to others.

Increase Your Readership Tenfold!

Authors write short stories for a variety of reasons. Some start Patreon accounts and will publish short stories to the platform for their superfans, those who pay a tiny fee in exchange for the stories.

How to Find Keywords on Amazon

Finding the right keywords on Amazon KDP will give your book or book series a better chance at attaining organic traffic. While your readers and other authors you cross-promote your work with will without a doubt give you a leg up in the rankings when you launch your book, you still need to attract organic readers to your sales page(s).

Selling Books on Amazon?

Selling books on Amazon is not as easy as KDP claims. Nor is selling anything. How many times have you worked, or known someone who’s worked, as a salesperson, regardless of their profession? They’re not shy in admitting how hard it is to entice people to buy things. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to sell unless a potential customer sees value in the product.

I Was Wrong About Write What You Know

Write what you know is a little deceptive demon. Nick Stephenson said in a recent email (I’m subscribed to his First10kReaders list, and you should subscribe too), that “write what you know is terrible advice.” I’ve always viewed Stephenson as somewhat of a sage. Especially since his marketing systems actually work.

How to Sell on Kindle and Keep Selling

Odds are, you’re going to sell on Kindle during at least your early days as a self-published/indie author. Many authors, even those who publish wide, swear by KDP Select and Amazon in general during their early days. And in my experience, it makes a ton of sense.

Will Free Books Generate Revenue?

I’m not a fan of perma-free when talking about full-length novels. I am, however, a huge fan of using free books, even full-length novels, as a strategic sales tactic. Sound contradictory? Not really. You can, whether published wide or enrolled in KDP Select, generate huge sales to your backlist by setting Book I to free in any series, without using the perma-free tactic.

What is the World’s Worst Book Marketing Strategy?

Your marketing strategy can go horribly wrong if you don’t know what to do in the months leading to your book launch. And I can tell you from experience you will fight to earn pennies in this business if and when your strategy falters.

You Don’t Need a Huge Book Marketing Budget

Your book marketing budget does not need to be large. In fact, you can earn enough money with your books for at least a part-time income with a small mailing list of dedicated readers and paid promotion that does not break the bank.

Is Publishing Wide Right for You?

Publishing wide means you are not exclusive to Amazon’s KDP Select Program. While you will always hear an endless debate between authors that one tops the other, I’m putting an end to that debate right now: The best option – publishing wide, or through Amazon KDP Select, is a product of your current situation.

Do You Send Regular Mailing Campaigns?

As an author, you need to send mailing campaigns on a set schedule. Often, you need to send at least one campaign every two weeks, but some authors send several per week. And no, sending six to seven mailing campaigns per week is not spamming readers, as long as those campaigns hold value.

What is KDP Select?

The great debate rages on regarding Amazon’s KDP Select and whether or not you should grant Amazon exclusive rights to sell the Kindle version of your book. One camp swears by Select. And I have read books from some of the best authors who have granted Amazon exclusivity. I’ve also read horror stories on numerous blogs from authors regarding KDP Select.

November 2021

Selling Books In Person

Selling books in person is something authors don’t think about anymore. It’s borderline obsolete. But it shouldn’t be. I’m going to be blunt: You are crazy if you aren’t at least considering in-person promotion. Riddle me this: How many people on your mailing list know who you are?

5 Unusual Book Launch Strategies

You need to have several book launch strategies planned before your first book goes live on Amazon. Hopefully, you built a mailing list to launch your book for an early boost in sales. Also, it’s wise to have fully optimized your book with proper metadata, chose a compelling cover, and wrote an even more interesting description.

How to Use Perma-Free Books to Your Advantage

Perma-free can be a multiple-edged sword. On one side of the blade, you may find yourself generating hundreds of downloads. On the other side, you’re wondering why you’re garnering lower ratings on Amazon and other retailers. Odds are, you didn’t use perma-free books to your advantage, and combined with lower ratings, they have become sitting ducks on Amazon.

Outlining Versus Pantsing: Who Wins

There is no right or wrong way to write a book. So whether you’re an outliner or a pantser should come down to personal preference. I decided to write an article to settle the great debate between the outliners and pantsers because far too often, I see this claim:

How to Write Bestselling Books (And Sell Them)

I don’t know whether I will write bestselling books in my author career. Really, that will decide on several factors. However, after studying the way successful authors approach the craft, I have discovered it’s much less about writing and editing the book. And it’s far more about building marketing systems that work.

Book Promotion Strategies to AVOID

There are several book promotion strategies that work. But one reason I never gained traction with my former books is that I succumbed to myths like social media is a must-have, for example. Recently, there was one book promotion strategy I’d come across that annoyed me so much I almost unsubscribed from the author in question’s mailing list.

How to Find Your Target Reader

Most authors fail to earn a solid living from their fiction because they do not discover their target reader, or readers. This sounds complicated, but it’s one of the easiest things to accomplish. If you know what to do. For example, authors who write urban fantasy claim they’re targeting urban fantasy readers.

Best Book Promotion Services

There are plenty of book promotion services out there to submit a book. Contrary to popular belief, many will drive downloads if you submitted a free book while others will generate you a handful of sales in your quest to bestseller status.

Are Perma-Free Books Worth It?

Perma-free books are great ways to increase exposure to your series or even a backlist, assuming the backlist remains in the same genre. But is it a good idea to set a novel to perma-free?

7 Successful Book Launch Ideas

There are several successful book launch ideas swirling around the internet today. But many of them cost nothing but time. If you’re looking to launch your first or your next book but you have major budget constraints, this is a post you want to read.

Email Versus Social Media: Who Wins?

In today’s world, we are conditioned to believe email is a thing of the past and social media is the thing. Naturally, we favor social media for our authors’ platforms over taking time to build a mailing list, right? Unfortunately, social media is wholly responsible for why 99.9% of authors fail to sell even 1,000 copies of their first in series.

The Ideal Book Marketing Strategy

The ideal book marketing strategy begins months before you release your first paid book. Some authors may say it’s better to begin marketing up to a year in advance. If you’re serious about earning a full-time income for your books, you need to multitask, meaning you need to do more than just write more books – you need to become an entrepreneur.

Write More Books, Sell More Books?

Most bloggers will tell you the golden ticket to sell more books is to write more books. And they are half-right. We live in a binge society. Meaning if you have a six-book series or at least a trilogy, odds are you’re going to sell between three and six times more books than the author with a standalone novel.

Truth About Book Marketing

You see so-called book marketing experts tell you all the time that their way is the golden way and will generate thousands of clicks and hundreds of sales overnight. Which, of course, would allow you to quit the day job, right? The inconvenient truth is that their strategies will not work overnight. And I’ve limited my trust to only a few book marketing experts out there who aren’t afraid to tell you this truth.

What is Author Marketing Hell?

There is a pesky little term called author marketing hell, or AMH, and it’s a trap you do not need to find yourself toiling in.

Is Self-Editing Enough?

You should always start self-editing a manuscript regardless of whether you decide to outsource it to a professional developmental or copyeditor. Most authors will put their manuscript between two or three self-edits following their first draft. I like to self-edit what I had written the day before in my first draft before I write another batch of 2,000 to 3,000 words.

What are Advance Review Copies?

Three to six months before you publish, you need to think about handing out advance review copies to professional book reviewers, bloggers, or at least Amazon reviewers who review books in your genre. Advance review copies, also known as advance reader copies or ARCs, are the best way to gain exposure for your books months before their publication date.

What is Readthrough Rate?

Readthrough rate is simple: The number of readers who buy your book multiplied by the percentage of readers who read through to the next book. An ideal readthrough rate from Book I to Book II is 40%. However, this number will vary. If you have a perma-free book, that rate will be much smaller – often between 1% and 2% since readers downloading the work also downloaded about 20 other free books.

How to Write Cold Email Campaigns

Nobody likes to write cold email campaigns, and I’m sure you don’t like getting cold emails. But when you’re looking to pitch your book to book bloggers and reviewers outside of your mailing list, you’re going to have to use this tactic. And so often, authors cannot write cold email campaigns correctly.

How to Get Book Reviews

Ideally, you want to get book reviews fast and often, such as before you launch your book and shortly afterward. A great way to do this is to hand out Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) to your own readers, reviewers, and book review blogs. You can also pay publicists to do some if not all of the dirty work for you.

7 Proven Ways to Market Reader Magnets

Before I learned how to market reader magnets, I bought into the entire ‘Do It Yourself for Free’ lie. While you can write up and market reader magnets for free, you’re wasting your time.

What’s the Difference Between Reader Magnets and Funnel Books?

Reader magnets and funnel books are often used interchangeably. But they shouldn’t be. For one, reader magnets have one objective – to help you build your mailing list. Books like Chronicles of the Elementals, Chronicles of Rondure, and Braden Hawk are my reader magnets. Which is one reader magnet per book series.

7 Reasons You Need to Write a Book Series

You need to write a book series if you plan on staying ahead of the curve. Too often, I see authors try to promote Book I in their series and gain a readership before they release and promote Book II. Listen, unless your name is E.E. Holmes (who puts her next book on preorder a year in advance), you can’t write just one book then save the sequel for next year (or longer).

What are Author Blogs? (How Author Blogs Work)

Author blogs are the way to go. Far too often, I see authors shortchange themselves by offering a static website. And while it’s smart to have a static page for a funnel book or a reader magnet, your static website will collect cyber dust. In other words, you’re wasting your money if you don’t have your own blog.

What is a Funnel Book? (How Funnel Books Work)

The funnel book is a lot like the reader magnet. But authors often confuse the two and use funnel books and reader magnets interchangeably. This is false, as reader magnets entice buyers to join your mailing list. The funnel book, at least when publishing fiction, is a loss leader.

How to Maximize Joint Promotions

Joint promotions can be an effective way to maximize your book exposure. While on the surface, they are not as effective as cross-promotions, joint promos will generate your newsletter signups and sales if you know how to maximize them.

7 Effective Ways to Promote Books

You want launch day to be successful, but you don’t have the budget, don’t worry. There are several ways to promote books that won’t break the bank.

How to Choose the Right Book Cover That Sells

If you don’t choose the right book cover, odds are your book won’t sell. And it’s a shame because I’m sure I’ve passed on thousands of books because I didn’t like the cover. And so have you, whether or not you’ve realized it. When you sell your books, the readers look at the cover first.

 

October 2021

What are Cross-Promotions?

Cross-promotions are one of the most effective tools you can use when you build a mailing list. They are something I engage in every week. Before releasing a debut novel, it’s good to engage in the following strategy:

7 Book Promotion Ideas That Actually Work!

If you have an existing book that is not selling, you need a few book promotion ideas. Sadly, you get bad advice if you type ‘Book Promotion Ideas’ or similar keyword phrases into search engines. Many bloggers will give you free (and ineffective) ways to promote your book.

What are Reader Magnets?

Odds are, you have come across reader magnets even if you never realized it. And they go far beyond the publishing industry. If you hopped onto any how-to website or, say, a fitness or cooking blog, you have downloaded reader magnets.

What is a Shared Universe?

A shared universe, which you may also know as a storyverse, is a fictional universe where multiple authors contribute that fits within an overarching storyline or arc. My own set of books, the Elementals Universe, is also a shared universe. Except I’m the only author creating content for it. And you can be the sole content creator for your shared universe should you take this route.

Is it Possible to Write and Release the Perfect Book Without Outsourcing?

A lot of indie and self-published authors face huge dilemmas – budgeting. Obviously, writing the perfect book is more than just writing the book. There is so much more to it, such as editing, formatting, cover design, sales copy, marketing, book trailers, and the pre-launch, just to name a few.

TC Marti’s Rookie Mistake Episode II: Mailing List Failure!

It’s been a while between TC Marti’s Rookie Mistakes Episode I and my current episode, entitled Mailing List Failure! In this edition, I’ll talk about something that could have been a fatal error to my life as a user of the MailerLite platform and why I should have (but didn’t) get hit with spam complaints.

 

August 2021

What Has Pre-Release Book Marketing Taught Me?

As I write today’s post, I’m still deep in my pre-release book marketing stage for Wind Wielder – Book I in Elementals of Nordica, and its sequels Wind Master and Wind Keeper. However, I’ve officially crossed the 100-day mark in my pre-release phase and I’ve learned a lot since May 17th, 2021.

How Do I Choose My Book Covers?

Today’s post will discuss the process I go through when I choose my book covers, and it is a long one. If you know anything about choosing a book cover, it can be hectic under normal circumstances. Now, throw genre-bending into the mix and you’re sure to embark on quite the whirlwind.

Welcome to the Six-Week Writing Sprint

While I considered writing the first books in Elementals of Nordica a writing marathon that took over a year to perfect, now that I’ve gotten the magical systems, Five Worlds, and virtually the foundation laid out for the Elementals Universe, I’ve now evolved into embarking on the six-week writing sprint.

 

July 2021

Writing a Book Series: Three Lessons I’ve Learned

Today, I want to talk to you about things I’ve learned from writing a book series. If you have been following me for a while, you’ll know that I will be releasing my first book, Wind Wielder, in January 2022. And as you know, Wind Wielder will act as Book I in the Elementals of Nordica Series, and also Book I in the Elementals Universe.

What is Kindle Vella and Will I Publish Work There?

So, I’ve come across this cool new App called Kindle Vella, thanks to my dedicated subscription and opening emails (sometimes) to Ricardo Fayet’s Reedsy Newsletter. And today, I want to talk to you about this exciting new trend from Amazon, and whether I’m going to end up publishing work on it.

Why Does the First Draft Always Suck?

There is an ongoing debate among authors regarding the first draft of books. Some authors insist the first draft does not have to suck while others say they’re supposed to.

How Did I Come Up With Character Names?

J.K. Rowling is probably my all-time favorite author when it comes to character names. As you probably know, Rowling has come up with names either of influence to her, or words that match a character’s personality. For example, Filch sounds a lot like ‘filth,’ Snape is akin to ‘snake,’ and Umbridge, when you think about it, sounds like ‘umbrage.’

What Writing a Book Has Taught Me

When I sat down last year to plan Elementals of Nordica, I was not content with just writing a book for pleasure. I wanted to go far beyond that and give the readers what they want, while simultaneously enjoying the writing and editing process to where I looked forward to going to work each day.

Storyverse is the Best Way to Define the Elementals Universe

Are you looking for the next great storyverse? Check out the Elementals Universe, and you may just find it. While I’m sure my work will never reach the likes of Harry Potter or Star Wars, the storyverse in which I’ve placed the Elementals Universe will pique your interest if you’re interested in some fresh genre-bending.

 

June 2021

When You Think the Editing Process is Over…

You edit again, and then perhaps one more time. In short, the editing process is so long and at times dry and complex that most indie authors do three things, and two of them are bad. They either publish their work to Amazon, hoping readers will forgive the potential minor plot errors and typos. They outsource the work to a friend or relative to edit. Or, three, they take more time to self-edit.

Why It’s Necessary to Proofread Novels Multiple Times

I’m one who will proofread novels several times, as opposed to just giving it a final proofread or a run-through. The primary reason is that I know I can always make a novel read better, either with stronger nouns or verbs. Sort of like a glorified copyedit, which has always been a strong suit.

How Ferocious Self-Editing Brought About an Action-Packed Novelette in Ten Days

Those of us in the indie-author realm have our own views and opinions on self-editing. Some of us are the DIY types who do everything from the writing to the editing and even cover design. Other indies stress the importance of hiring professional editors. Both developmental and copy editors, along with other niches if applicable.

TC Marti’s Rookie Mistakes: Episode I

Yes, I’m labeling today’s post as Episode I in what will become a Rookie Mistakes Series. Why? Because I’m “glad” to say that I just made my first boneheaded mistake as a rookie author, and I’ll bet you a bundle it won’t be my last.

What is Genre-Bending and Why is it Trending Upward?

Have you ever asked yourself “What is Genre-Bending?” after you came across the term? If so, today’s post will give you a rundown on what genre-bending is, and whether it’s something you’re looking to dive into. Oh, but a word of warning: Once you’ve tasted genre-bending, you probably will never want to leave it and you may find yourself bored if you return to works that feature typical tropes of typical genres.