Tag Archives: e-publishing

From Dream to Reality


Dates don’t stick in my brain. That’s why I always disliked history classes. The tests seemed to focus on memorization of lots of dates. I was at an instant disadvantage. I would have preferred that the instructors focused on the lessons we can learn from history. If that had been the case, I likely would have majored in history. I love to learn. I hate memorization.

But I digress.

I was saying dates don’t stick in my brain. I can’t remember when I first decided that I would start a writers group. If I were to guess, I would say it was two years ago. About that time, I started attending writing workshops by mystery author Lauren Carr, hosted by different local libraries. In fact, it happened after the first Carr workshop, but before the second. At the second workshop is where I asked for anyone interested to give me his or her contact information.

It took a bit of time to find a meeting place. I had a list of 25 names. I had no idea how many would actually show up. Rose Harris, owner of a local coffee-house in historic Williamsport, MD, was willing to let the group use her back room free of charge two times per month. The local library also had a meeting room, but it was in high demand. The writers group may have to compete for meeting dates. That was no good. Plus, the library felt sterile. The vibe at the Desert Rose Cafe was nurturing, creative, friendly. As an added bonus, “the eats” were good and inexpensive.

Desert Rose Cafe TL

It was the vibe that made the decision for me.

Over time the group whittled down to a dozen, then ten regulars. The group was very diverse, from writing styles to personalities to topical interests. Yet we jelled. We shared work by reading aloud. We criticized (in a constructive way) and guided each other in developing our craft. We encouraged and inspired each other.

The restaurant hosted a writing contest, posting short works from the group in the dining room, asking diners to read and vote on a winner.

We all were winners, because, after the contest, we decided to put together the Anthology. We had faith we could create a collection of short works, edit them, compile them, then publish them in a period of about six months.

With the professional assistance  and coaching of Acorn Book Services in Harpers Ferry, WV, by December, 2012, the humble writers group–Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe–released its first e-book. The members range in age from 30 to 80-plus and live in a three state area.

One member with Asperger’s Syndrome remarked that the release date of the e-book was one of the greatest days in his life. During the course of writing for the Anthology, he made a decision to move out of his parents’ home and into his own apartment, so he could enroll in college. He is currently working on a solo writing project.

An administrator in the local library system called me a couple of days ago to express her surprise and joy that Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe had achieved its goal. She offered to help arrange publicity for the book through the local newspaper. In turn, I offered to promote the library workshops as wellsprings of creativity. Without the library’s workshop, the Anthology would never have been written.

An idea led to a call to action and resulted in the creation and e-printing of a publication. A young man’s life changed. Others came to see that setting a goal and working on it faithfully yielded results. Several are working on new solo projects.

Dreams do come true.

Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, An Anthology, available from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Here

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe–Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357500066&sr=1-1&keywords=writers+of+the+desert+rose+cafe

or here

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-an-anthology-fay-moore/1114018983

Uploading the Book to Amazon.com


I got a phone call today from Acorn Book Service that the Anthology has been uploaded to Amazon.com. I don’t think the book is immediately available for sale. Rather, the internal processes inside Amazon.com get set into motion by uploading the manuscript.

Similarly, the book will be uploaded to Barnes & Noble by next week.

Smashwords, I’m told, is much more user friendly, so I will work with one of the other members to upload the manuscript to Smashwords ourselves. That will be a learning experience. Smashwords is a distributor to other e-book retail outlets.

Amazon.com uses a .mobi file format. Barnes & Noble and Smashwords use .epub files. That is one of the services Acorn Book Services provides to the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, taking our .doc file and converting it to e-publishing-ready formats.

Next comes the marketing learning curve.

I will share with you how things progress. I’ll share what I learn and the mistakes I make.  We’ll learn together about this thing called self-publishing via the e-book.

The Anthology Is Going to Press


Within the week, the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology will be in the hands of Acorn Book Services for formatting. Within the month, the e-book will be available for sale on Amazon.com.

The anthology integrates the varied writing interests of the authors into a fast and easy read.  There’s something for everyone: young adult to inspirational to fantasy to adult fiction to poetry to ultra-short story (such as 33- or 55-word stories). Whatever your tastes in reading, the anthology offers enough variety to satisfy.

Sound like an advertisement? It is.

Naturally, I hope you will read the anthology and share feedback with me. Your feedback helps the writers of Desert Rose Cafe to improve and grow. Criticism is welcomed when it is meant to help.

The project itself drove several of the authors out of a comfort zone. Writing within a group setting is very different from writing alone. For a couple of the writers, the process of publication is a first experience. Others have years of creative expertise. One of our own developed the book cover with group input. Members assumed varying responsibilities such as editing, content organization, setting timelines and the like. The satisfaction of bringing the projection to completion is almost at hand.

As an aside, one of our authors has Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disability that affects one’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Can you imagine the huge satisfaction that writer is feeling right now?

Now the marketing begins, along with the next learning curve for some of us. When the e-book is available to purchase, I’ll share where to buy it.

As I learn what works and what doesn’t on the marketing side of the venture, I’ll share those lessons, too.

Later, ‘gator.

When To Stop Writing


A few days ago, I finished rewriting on my contributions to The Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology. I sent my revisions to the members who collate the contributions into the final manuscript. The volume will be turned over to Acorn Book Services for formatting and uploading to the marketplace for e-books. (Hopefully in December.)

I received a couple of specific criticisms from the publisher on two of my pieces. However, I revised almost every story, including my biographical paragraph.

After re-reading the pieces multiple times, I wanted to yank out several of my entries because now I hate them. I don’t want them published under my name. They aren’t perfect. They aren’t mature. They bore me. Some are pablum.  Pablum suggests simplistic writing.

I tell myself. “This is a first effort, so the stench of the amateur shouldn’t surprise anyone.” That’s my scared self speaking.

I’m delighted that the editor suggested changes to improve stories. Consequently, there are two or three pieces I think deliver entertainment for the reader. Satisfactorily. Worth the price of admission. Maybe leaving the reader curious about what comes next from this author.

And I grew. As an author. As a wordsmith. As a human being. As an experimenter.

Striving to make something excellent is good, to a point.  Sometimes a writer rewrites and rewrites, seeking perfection in a piece. But there  does come a time to stop: stop reworking, stop criticizing, stop touching up. At that point, it’s time to publish and let the chips fall where they may. It’s time to face the music.

Am I ready for the commercial press? Book buyers will vote. Readers will tell me.

If my collection of work is a screw up,  I hope a reader is brave enough to spell out specifics for me, not just the critique “I don’t like it.”  It’s the “I don’t like it because. . .” that helps me improve the next time.

Interview with Author A. J. Myers


If you enjoy author interviews, this is a good one because:

  • this is the story of an author who discovered the writer within herself by surprise
  • A. J. Myers is an every day, “real-world” woman who succeeded in publishing
  • she gives helpful advice
  • she models good author behavior — planning, discipline, fun
  • she offers resources for writers

Thank you, Paige Nolley, WordPress blogger, for this insightful interview.

Interview with Author, AJ Myers.

Throw Enough at the Wall. . .


. . . and something will stick.

I used that quotation in yesterday’s response to Rarasaur. Immediately, I knew I had to share a motivational thought with you.

Having several irons in the fire can be a good thing, providing you are continually working to complete the projects. Eventually, you will finish a project, then another, then another. As a writer, this means that you will end up with several salable items.

This tactic only works for folks like me whose brains like to jump from one thing to another to avoid boredom. It won’t work for those who start things, but never finish them. You have to finish the projects. It’s finishing them that brings a pay day.

Rarasaur has a good method. She has a list and a concrete goal for each item listed; for example, creating one idea a day for thirty days for a book project. At the end of a month, she will have thirty possibilities to consider for her next writing project. Of the thirty on her list, one is bound to seize her imagination.

You may want to try the “many irons” approach to see if it works for you. The key to success is devising your own method to complete the projects on your list.

WHAT A PRESS RELEASE LOOKS LIKE


Lauren Carr Tour Schedule Press Release
JUST A QUICK LOOK AT WHAT A PRESS RELEASE LOOKS LIKE.
THIS IS FROM ACORN BOOK SERVICES
FOR ONE OF ITS INDIE AUTHORS LAUREN CARR.
I AM NON-TECHNICAL, SO
I HAVE SCREWED IT UP TRYING TO PASTE IT HERE.
ANYWAY, YOU GET THE IDEA.
HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL
Visit Lauren Carr’s website for tour schedule
Dead on Ice Virtual Book Tour Launches Monday, November 19!
November 19-December 14
You can’t be a true author without going on tour. So, once again, with a new book, Dead on Ice, released September 1, Lauren is striking out across cyberspace. This is your invitation to join her on tour, coordinated by Pump Up Your Book Tours. Click on the banner to visit her website for the schedule and check in each day from November 19-December 14 for interviews, giveaways, and insight into the mind of this middle-aged wife, mother, chauffeur, and mystery writer. You’ll have fun! That’s a guarantee.Dead on Ice is the first installment of Lauren Carr’s new series (Lovers in Crime). It features Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton and his new love, Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates.

Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery)

by Lauren Carr by Acorn Book Services
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2012-08-22

Buy Now

In this Lovers in Crime Mystery, spunky Pennsylvania State Homicide Detective Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, when her body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to Cameron’s lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was found in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too-because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.

In her new series, Lauren Car teams up her first literary detective with a new and exciting partner. Homicide Detective Cameron Gates has a spunky personality that’s a perfect complement to Joshua Thornton’s logical and responsible nature.

“Readers of my first series kept asking when I would bring back Joshua Thornton,” Carr explained. “However, they are going to find that single father Joshua Thornton is not in the same place since we left him in A Reunion to Die For. His children are grown. He’s more independent, and he’s ready for some romance and adventure. That’s where Cameron Gates comes in.”

With that, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates strike out to explore the mysteries of both murder and love!

 

Dead on Ice Book Trailer
Dead on Ice Book Trailer

Here’s what Reviewers are saying about Dead on Ice

Mystery and Suspense Galore

I love reading mystery, suspenseful books! When I read the synopsis for Dead on Ice, I knew immediately that I wanted to read this book! Dead on Ice includes romance, mystery, suspense, and murder! When your past catches up to you, you have no choice to but to face it.

We first meet Joshua Thornton in court, who is up against his own cousin Albert. Even after the case is heard, they are still friendly with each other. Later, Albert is found dead. We soon meet Cameron Gates, the homicide detective, who is dating Joshua. Cameron and Joshua work together to solve his death. As they both dig deeper, they discover more dead bodies, secrets and lies that come to light in their investigation.

The whole town’s history comes back to the present and everyone is forced to face how they behaved. Some characters have not changed, while others have moved on and grew up.

Dead on Ice kept me guessing until the very end. Dead on Ice is certainly a page turner. I read this book in less than two days!

Reviewer: Stephanie Fratta, Beauty Brite

Exciting New Series for Lovers of Crime

I’ve had the pleasure of reading the Mac Faraday series and also the Joshua Thornton mysteries, so I was excited hear the author decided to create a new series just for Joshua, Hancock County’s Prosecuting Attorney and Cameron Gates, a homicide detective for the Pennsylvania State Police. The two met on a previous case, and it’s good to see that they are now going to be working together in the Lover’s in Crime mystery series.

The story actually begins many years ago when eighteen-year-old Angie disappears following an evening at the local roller skating rink. The year? 1978.

Years later, Cheryl Smith, the prime suspect in Angie’s disappearance, is found in an abandoned freezer at the home of Joshua’s recently deceased cousin. Cheryl, now known as Cherry Pickens, spent many years in the pornographic industry. How her body ended up in this location prompts another look into the original unsolved case so many years ago.

What Cameron and Joshua find are a trail of lies, deceit, murder and cover-up, as they search for the truth.

This novel has more twists and turns than I’ve seen in a while, but it all adds up to an interesting and unexpected reveal. Many more people are involved in the original disappearance than first expected, and it seems everyone has their own secrets. Trying to unravel the truth from the twisted lies that have remained hidden for so long leads the investigators on quite an interesting chase.

Family and friends of the couple help lighten the mood and provide a homey feel to the story. It will be interesting to see where Carr takes the two next. Although the Mac Faraday series is still my favorite by this author, this new duo has the possibility of ranking a close second.

Review: Edie Dykeman, Mystery Editor, Belleonline Reviews

About Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers.

Lauren Carr, author & publisher

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@comcast.net

Website: http://acornbookservices.com/

http://mysterylady.net/

Blog: Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991

Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries

Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/LoversInCrimeMysteries?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie