Self Publishing your Novel (from my pov)

When you are a self published author there are a few things you need to know.  First question from most people is ‘we love your book but why don’t you sell it to a big publishing house?’.  Well, I’ve been told (and I believe it) that there are thousands of people writing manuscripts for various reasons.  They want to prove they can, they have a need to try to help people and the old ‘I need to make some money and it seems easy’.

I wrote mine for the ‘I’d like to make a little extra retirement money’ reason, but I also noticed a void in the market.  There are lots of stories about men going off to wars, coming home with issues and rebuilding their lives from various complications.  But there are none about women.  Women are seeing more and more battle action in our various services.  Most often in the Marines and the Army. So I decided I’d write one for us.

I was in the Air Force.  My job as an NCO was to insure our mission got done.  I was in Transportation, the Chief Dispatcher.  So I ran the shuttles, the taxies, and the supply trucks.  My drivers went out and picked up broke-down, abandoned vehicles and basically kept the wheels turning. But even I, though not in actual combat during Desert Storm, suffered repercussions.  Due to exposure to oil well smoke and who knows what else from the battle vehicles I developed Gulf War Syndrome which is a catch-all phrase.  For me it is asthma, sinusitis, COPD, sleep apnea and various and sundry other problems.  But enough about that.

My Book, The Homestead, is about a woman Marine combat veteran who was wounded and lost her fiance to an IED when they were en route to their assignment.  She spends time in a medical facility and winds up inheriting the old family farm, discovering a 50-year-old cold case murder mystery.

I sent it to several big name publishing companies and received a series of very polite rejections.  I seems that they were wanting something of a more supernatural bend like Vampires or Zombies in south Texas.  Or a torrid sex scene.  Or, while we liked the book we are not presently publishing this genre.  Really?

So, I went in search of a Self-Publishing house that I could get along with.  This is what I found out.

First you must find a publishing house to suit your needs: financially, responsibility, and work wise.  I didn’t have $4,000. in my hip pocket, so that knocked a lot of them out.  I had also heard stories of people who paid up front and got forgotten as time went on.  I actually found one who takes monthly payments. And I kept 100 % of all rights to my book. I have a fantasy of that movie contract.  LOL!

Second, you must find one where you have a real live contact person who will pick up the phone, give you good answers, make suggestions, and (at least seem) to care about you and your book.

Thirdly, find one who will do the basic sales deal.  They will post your book on various venues.  Amazon.com,  Createspace, BarnesandNobles.com, the Apple Store, K0bo, the Google Play, etc.

And you must have one that fulfills your needs.  Mine has a cafeteria plan.  They have a long list of services and you can choose which one you wanted.  I did’t want it edited, just proof read, got a nice cover design, print on demand, and a webpage.  There were more options but that was all I wanted.  Build a relationship with your customer account manager.  Remember names of people who you WANT to deal with.

Now, actually selling the book is up to you.  Go beat the bushes, get out to venues like bookstores, expos, conventions and things that are a part of your books.  Mine has dogs in it so I advertise in Jack Russell Dog Show Flyers when I can find them.  I also have horses so I went to the open house of my horse’s breed, American Indian Horse and I advertise in their magazine. Go on your FaceBook Page.  And to the Group pages you belong to, (Ask Permission First, some have rules about this.)  I know people through a Writers Guild, my husband’s bass club, and whenever I talk about the book, I hand out flyers with info on how to order it. Talk!  You’re proud of your book, show it.  Most of my doctors have flyers from me too.   And donate to your local library, VFW, fund-raisers for your groups and anything else you are involved with. Oh! And Blog.  Here we are, talking about the adventures and knowledge I’ve enjoyed since writing the book.  So people say Twitter, but that’s too ‘right now’ for me.  I like to write my blog and then re-read it before I post.  It’s too easy to blurt stuff out I’ll regret later.

I’m sure you’ll think of lots else to do with your book, you just have to think about it.  Good luck to you all.

By the way, the Publishing House I’m talking about is BookFuel.  Google it and talk to the nice people there.  Good luck.

 


Genetics and silliness

I ran across Ancestry.com’s latest ad.  It was ‘exposing’ that Brits aren’t really British.  I had to laugh because of what I know about the history of the British Isles makes their whole ‘discovery’ hilarious.  For whatever its worth, my BS is in Sociology, with a minor in History and Literature.  Now I’m not arguing with them, they’re right, but lets explain it a little.

Here’s the original article complete with pie chart.

The British Are Less British Than We Think

And here’s my response.

I’m sorry I had to laugh at the pie chart put out by the Ancestry people. Anyone shocked at their results should pull out their history books and read them.  They show the Irish Celtic DNA (technically the Native Englanders) the Romans fought showed at 22%. Italian/Greek showed at 3%. It sounds like some Roman Soldiers had a little fun on their liberty days before being recalled from Hadrian’s Wall and Bath to fight the barbarians at the gate. Anglo Saxons ok. The Saxons moved into England and were in charge for a long time after Rome fell so 37% sounds right. As far as Western European/French uh, HELLO, Normans as in William the Conqueror who showed up and beat the Saxons show 20%. Scandinavians well, here comes the Vikings with 9%. The Iberian influx were maybeee survivors of Spanish Armada at 3%. and the infamous Other at 7%. Actually, I’m surprised that its such a low number. Give it another century, it will be much higher probably showing more middle eastern. But overall. It just doesn’t matter. its okay for fun, but I wouldn’t take it seriously.

Here’s the big main deal.  Populations are fluid.  We can track it in the history books, we can see it in the bazaars and the forums.  There is no such thing as races, only ethnicities and religions.  They come, they go.  We may or may not like it, but it is what it is.

Checking human DNA is like checking a Rat Terrier.

The Rat Terrier is a working farm dog.  It is part white terrier, part Whippet, part Beagle, and maybe some Jack Russell or even Dachshund.  Basically, whatever was successful survived.  A stupid dog, like a stupid person just doesn’t live very long without societal help.

Be proud of who you are. Because you are the result of successful blood lines.  Your forbearers survived feast, famine, war and pestilence.  Some traveled to different islands or even continents.  It’s okay to be new, you just have to be successful.


Recovery at last.

I’m back from the convention, mostly well and getting back into the swing of thing.  If you read my bio, you’ll see I’m 63.  Not terribly old, but certainly old enough to know better than to fly to British Columbia and run around Vancouver and its environs on a crutch, a sprained knee and an aggravated spine fracture (the ER doc’s words, not mine.).

But there hadn’t been a GateCon in 6 years, and when Col. O’Neill calls all good Gaters respond.  So, me and a group of equally crazy galpals, headed for the Great North West in response.

Richard Dean Anderson aka Jack O’Neill aka Nicodemus Legend aka Angus MacGyver was there, large and in charge.  Interestingly enough he too is showing his erm, mileage.

In his defense, RDA is 65 and has had some health problems.  And he’s recovering from his own damaged limbs.  Apparently, he took a header down some steps chasing a pup he’d inherited from his Mom at her passing.  Concussion, sprained wrist, broken ribs, and a broken elbow.  But, for all his injuries, he remained the Host with the Most.

The ‘guests’ were just about every SGC team member, villain, sidekick, comic relief ever made an appearance.  Daniel’s good father, Sam’s Tok’ra dad, Bra’tak, Walter, Persis, Narim, Ba’al, Nirti, Hathor, on and on and on.

Unfortunately, the rest of SG1 sent their regrets.  Shanks and Tapping were working on their projects, (he has an award-winning TV show and she’s directing something). The others were not specifically heard from but we can assume they are hale and hearty.

There were also some authors from Fandemonium, the company that is presently writing, creating, publishing and printing the StarGate novels.  They did a seminar what was interesting to the writers that were there.  One thing that stuck in my mind was the advice to ‘fill the box with sand’.  You can always take it out, but you first must fill the box.  Well, its something to think about.

Vancouver is a beautiful city.  It’s no wonder so many TV shows and movies are made there.  As we took the tour bus we could see signs all throughout the city advising us of filming in process and streets closed.  The people were nice and weren’t really aware of the con going on.  The feeling was small town and a bit pricey, but no surprise considering we were in another country.  But if you like seafood, this is the place.  The worst thing that happened was Sprint has no towers in Vancouver, so I was incommunicado. No phone, no facebook, not even email. But, every time I turned around there was some eye candy in view.  Okay, a bit mature, but eyecandy none the less.

I actually spent a whole 5 days in country, with 2 days of travel.  Apparently no Airlines go directly from San Antonio to Vancouver.  But Delta was very accommodating to a old gal with a cane.  But when I came home I dropped like a rock.  All my physicalities came back to roost.  I never would have survived a Big Flashy Con.  So I lay around the house for a few(?) days recovering and catching up.

Oh, and I don’t know what to blame it on but maybe it was the Sprint thing, but my Chrome browser here at home ceased to function.  So, I had to install Firefox.  My passwords were long gone and forgotten.  My list of passwords obviously had not made it through my husband’s cleaning frenzy a while back so no joy there.  Chrome had saved them all, but FF was clueless.  So I spent the next week reloading new pass words.  Sigh.

But I am back, mostly healed and rejuvenated, and working on my sequel again.  Faithfully filling the box with sand to be gently emptied out.