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If you want a good laugh about how crazy it is to be a writer. Read this article about query letter rules. I loved it!

 

Source: These 26 Query Letter Rules Will Change Your Life

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Source: Getting to the Top of the Charts on Amazon Kindle

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The things I have learned after self-publishing my first novel has become unnumberable. I will try to give you a rundown of a few of the things that have gone through my mind.

1: So many typos to fix in the review process. I think I have reviewed and fixed my book hundreds (might be an exaggeration) of times. There is blood, sweat and tears put into this book.

2: I am never satisfied with the end result. I will constantly look through the book and say it needs a space here, a new indent here, a comma here, and maybe take out this or that. Plus the layout was very hard to figure out. In Createspace, you have to make sure your book layout fits their criteria of a print book for the size you went with. Lots of trial and error.

 

 

  1. The cover is frustrating. I mean frustrating in the fact that I went through a whole process of trying to find an illustrator. This took over a month or more before I realized that I am a nobody and they will not ever do work for someone who is new to the business. Besides they have their reputation to uphold. Finally, after trying to do the artwork myself (yuck!) and then scrapping months of hard work, I went to a website where I could buy illustrations or get free ones where I just credit them.  The last way was the best for me. Someone else might be better at drawing and writing. I’m just not that talented.
  2. Sells are not instant. A book needs time to gain a following of readers. Your book needs a reputation. I opted to not tell family and friends. I wanted to see how my book would do on it’s own with no help from it’s momma. So I am watching it flounder at the bottom of the sales list.  I want sells to be organic. I want young readers to search and find my book on their own. This is so painful and I keep wanting to throw a life preserver out to my drowning book. We will just wait and see how it does by the end of the year.

 

So it all comes down to the fact that everyone has self- doubt. I have many of mine own and only shared a few with you today. Heck, there might be more tomorrow! I see why most new authors want to have an agent and become published the traditional way. There are no worries except for your book being moved off a shelf at the bookstore. If any experienced, self-published author has any ideas on how to make this process less painful please comment below. Thanks and happy reading!

 

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If you have read my previous posts about self-publishing than you can see that I have always been torn about it. No longer now. I am in the last stages of finishing up an MG manuscript that I have worked on for more than eight years! Imagine eight years of seeing rejections from publishers and literary agents. Eight years of rigorous editing by paid editors. Eight years of agonizing that I did not write a good story. Eight years of work behind me now.

My last step is to self-publish on Amazon Kindle. I have a friend designing the artwork for the cover then it will all be left in the readers’ hands.

Friends and relatives have been waiting for this day forever.  It feels like sending your first child off to kindergarten. You want them to be the best kid ever and to make lots of friends. Same thing with my book. I want good reviews and make lots of friendly fans.

Feelings of excitement and trepidation are waging war inside of me. In the end, I think I will be satisfied to see my book out there on a digital shelf.  Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and just do it.

To all my loyal readers, I will keep you updated when my book hits the shelf and I will post a copy of the link soon.

Thanks, everyone!

 

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How many writers do you know who do freelance work? 1? 2? Or none?  Well if your like me most writers do their writing as a second job and don’t get paid. So to any untrained eye this would appear to be a hobby. What? No way! I work too hard and long for my writing career to be considered a hobby.

So how to break the mold and make a career out of writing? Easy… get published! Well okay enough with the sarcasm. It is not easy to get published, let alone get an agent to even LOOK at your work. So the alternative is to become a freelance writer.

The website Freelance Writing Jobs at http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/ is a good place to begin.

This website can help you locate the job that is right for you. Everyone has to start somewhere, because we can’t all become famous authors with our first book.

Build up your skills writing for different companies. Learn new talents and make connections and get a great looking resume. Every literary agent and publisher wants to see a little writing experience behind newbies. Then when your book is published you can give credit to your experience as a freelance writer.

Not every path to glory is set in stone. Take the road less traveled and become richer for it.

Happy writing!download

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A book that uses the shoulders and backs of other hard working novels to become a bestseller tends to get some attention. When I read a book I look for the audience it is written for: like Children, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult. Then I see what the genre it is: Comedy, History, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Is it Fiction or Non-fiction? Does it have a huge following? Is the author well known? Has the book won an award? Or has the author won any awards? These questions are used for the selection of book I will read to fill my brain with.  image_preview

There is a little bit of space in my brain and unlike a computer I cannot add an external hard drive to store more information. So I am pretty selective about what I read. I have a degree in English literature and have had to read books that were not of my choosing. These books were chosen because they are in the literature canon. Not every book that makes it into this collegiate masterpiece of literature is likable. I did not like reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Garcia Marquez Gabriel, nor did I understand how this book became a classic. But other books I was glad to have read.

I have read so many books over the years that I have to have a log of what I read or I would forget them all. My genre of choice is Middle Grade fantasy. Why? Because this is what I write. When a writer is told by other authors to “write what you know”, that means to write what you read or experienced.  Now this does not mean I do not read adult or young adult books, because there are occasions in which I flit over to the other shelves tempted because of an attractive cover. Which brings me to my point.

 

I just finished reading a novel (more like a novella) called “A Shade of Vampire” by Bella Forrest. The authors name alone told me she was a fan of “Twilight”, but I should have noticed by the title that she was a fan of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, too. This book is what makes other writers cringe. Too many cliches. Too predictable. And the writing was high school level. When I say she wrote what she knew it is evident when you read the first few pages. This is not classic literature with beautifully written prose. Nor is it written by someone with a large vocabulary. When did romance/fantasy novels become sub par on their writing? There are adult books written by Mary Higgins Clark or Nicholas Sparks that are smarter than what I read. Books should be enjoyed and pondered over. Young adults should not be reading something that needs to belong in the Adult section of the bookstore. The only thing stopping me from giving this book a negative review on Goodreads was that I know what happens to books like this. The book everyone hates turns into a best seller because everyone wants to know what the big deal is, then they go buy the book. So I gave it an average rating and made no comments. Readers beware of the trap of making a new writer into a hit. Instead read the cover for yourself and decide if you want to read some drivel about a guy and a girl and you know how it ends. The books are all the same. In fact new writers spit out so many books at readers that they all blend into one massive collection of phlegm. Gross!

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Please save a reader! Write good works.

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After months of waiting, I finally received my manuscript back from an editor in California.  He was really nice but direct.  I loved it.  He gave me the highlights of the book and told me what I needed to work on.  Which is everything, more or less.  So, I have a lot to work on.  But that’s okay because summer break is right around the corner and I can’t wait to have the time to just revise the manuscript.  There will be revisions with the plot, characters and writing style.  The whole process could take months.  But will be worth it in the end.  “Good things come to those who wait.”

Writing by a beach somewhere might be the one thing to inspire me for great works.  Or it might be the biggest distraction in my writing process.

 

crw-beach

 

 

Next on the list, after this huge undertaking of revising is to look for a new literary agent.  It’s a daunting task.  And one I feel that I have tackled so many times before in the past.  Acquiring the right agent is such a tricky business. I feel I might just reach out to some friends to see who is hunting for their next dream author.  I recently saw a fellow author post on Facebook that she finally signed with an agent.  It only took ELEVEN years!  Yikes!  This is a little too long for me to wait.  But I’m glad for her.

Maybe I should just make it to one of the big writers’ conferences held by Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators in L.A.  There would be a lot of opportunity to meet-and-greet lots of potential agents and publishers there.  We will see.

Have a great summer, fellow writers!

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Corey D. Truax

Author | Editor | Father of Thor | Veteran | Military Spouse

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