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.
I’m taking a break from one heart passion, my terriers, to my soul passion, the Horse.
First, I would like to take this chance to thank Vicki Ives and her daughters at KARMA FARMS for doing this thing I’m so madly ranting about.
We wonder why the world is so unconcerned about wild horses, the mystical antique breeds or just horses in general. I hope KARMA FARMS with their summer programs for children and adults continues to educate and impress our youth with the love and appreciation of these magical creatures. Not enough people know horses today, even in a little way. They watch them on video or read about them in books but they don’t know the truth of them.
Those of us who have touched, brushed, sweated, stroked, ridden or driven them know of their beauty, their strength and their gentleness. The modern person only sees them in two dimensions. We, the horsemen of the world, need to unlock the secrets of the horse to the children and the dreamers. The Passionate ones need to be awakened.
If you own a horse, open your world to others and show them the magic. Bring others into the world of the sight of their beauty, the touch of their noses and coats, the smell of their bodies and their sweat, the sense of their power as they bend to our asking. Put a child on a gentle horse. Take your friend to the barn. Let their fear pass into our love of this Magnificent Creature who comes to us so trustingly and willingly. If we don’t introduce people to our world, they won’t know anything but ignorance, fear and false lies told by others who fear our spirit animal.
Lies like they are only animals, they are stupid, they don’t care for their families and they don’t have fear or pain when they are taken from us. That they don’t feel pain when wounded. That they don’t mourn for their dead. We must educate the children behind the computers and in front of the televisions. Without the support of these people we will lose our miracle that is the horse. They will pass into history and leave us alone in the cold harsh world. So take a friend to your horse, or a barn or a farm and introduce them to the wonderous creature we call our friend and partner.
If you don’t know someone with horses, take a riding lesson or go to a rescue and volunteer to help. Learn their smell, their touch, and their spirit. You will be amazed at what you learn not only about horses but about yourself.
This will be a happier one, I promise.
I was at home when I got the call. Robyn from Russell Rescue was on the phone and was asking for a doggy favor.
While I do mostly transport of dogs from one place to another, this was a little bit special. I had the two dogs, Abbott and Bridget, at this point. We had discussed adding another dog, but these two were perfectly balanced for each other. Having Jacks can be a challenging thing if they don’t get along and these two did beautifully. The only fights were when they were defending each other against other critters. But every once in a while, we’d keep a dog for a weekend or several days. This was one of those special times.
There had been a little mama dog picked up by San Antonio ACO. RR had waited the period of time hoping she’d be adopted but no one had stepped forward and she was in her last hours. So, one of ‘our’ rescued dogs was being adopted and it was decided to go and get her. I live close so I was asked to go and pick her up.
Jessie,as she was dubbed, was about 6 years old. This is not old for JRT as they normally live 15 years or more. But this little girl was in sad shape. The theory was she had been used as a breeder dog, one whose lot in life is to produce puppies year after year. I was told she’d been picked up off the street in the south side of San Antonio. There were no puppies, but she was lactating. SA ACO will only adopt a dog after its been neutered, so I knew she would still have stitches.
I got there to pick her up at 6 PM. The lady was nice enough but obviously very busy. I had a crate with a pillow in the back of the car all ready for her. Then they carry her out and she’s still unconscious, stitches in her tummy and milk running out of her nipples.
Since no one had seen her, I was supposed to report on her size, her build and if she had a long tail. As an aside, a true good Jack Russell should be between 10 to 15 inches tall, have tipped ears and a docked tail of about 4 inches long. As I took her and put her in the crate, I realized that she did not fit this description.
If you remember my Abbott dog, Jessie looked like a pup of his. They are both only 8 inch shorty jacks aka puddin Jacks, with Queen Anne legs (bowed like the furniture) with long tails, and in her case, one prick ear and one tipped. So, I had to tell Robyn that she was not the beauty we were hoping for. She also didn’t eat or drink for a day or two. I was very concerned that the vet had over sedated her as sometimes happened with small dogs but in true terrier fashion she came out of it in a few days.
I had put her in a vacant bedroom and pulled the door closed when I went to work the next day. But evidently Abbott and Bridgett wanted to see the new dog and had pushed the door open. My husband had also been curious and had been in there talking to her and trying to get her to eat and drink. So after a few days she was released and began to perk up.
Jessie went from depressed, to scared, to even a little aggressive. But this wasn’t surprising because her hormones were, to say the least, all fouled up. From a mama, to a throw away, to captured, to frightened, to hurt(spayed), to given over to us she barely had a chance to know what was happening to her.
We’d kept her for two weeks, longer than expected. Then I got the word to bring her to her foster home. But hubby had fallen for the new girl in the house and we happily failed fostering 101. She and Abbott are two peas in a pod.
Taking a dog in that has had no socialization is not always easy. She had to be house broken, she didn’t know how to walk on a leash, she was fearful of everything. But the pack helped a lot. She was the sweet little sister and the two dominants just took her along with them. She loves her Papa, she loves her sibs and she is nice to me. That’s okay, the others are ‘my’ dogs, and hubby needed his own darling.
We’ve had her for 4 years now. She’s a bit fat, a little lazy, actually had to learn to run after being a breeding female most of her life and accompanies hubby on his walks. She’s perfect for her position in our little pack. And she is the HAPPIEST dog I’ve ever known. It’s fun just to watch her hop around the backyard. She just wiggles around and asks for her rubs and scratches. After an hour or so, she’ll go and find her box or corner of the bed and go back to sleep.
Adopting is a wonderful thing. Jacks are so smart and loving if you accept them for what they are. They are active, bouncy and a handful. They also need a job and to be shown what it is. Don’t put them in the house, or the yard and ignore them. Make them part of your family. All they want is to love you. Let them.
I love dogs. I basically love all kinds of dogs, though I admit I do have my favorites that I gravitate too. My childhood was filled with dogs of all kinds. Rat Terriers, spaniels, collies, a German Shepherd and a passel of mongrels. One of our neighbors had a Pit Bull chained to a dog house. He was the sweetest dog (to me a five year old child). I would go over and visit him, hiding in the house. One day my Grandfather showed up and just about had a heart attack. Evidently, my pal was a champion fighting dog. I was not allowed to go there again, and finally, the dog disappeared. I was told he was sold. I dearly hope so.
Many dogs later, as a married adult, my husband and I got an American Staffordshire Terrier. They are the AKC version of a Pit Bull. Tiger, so named because she was a beautiful Red Brindle. A lovelier, sweeter animal never existed, well until our little mouse, Bonnie showed up. But I’m ahead of myself. We did discover the drawback to these lovely dogs, they don’t usually live very long. Tiger left us after a hard, short bout of intestinal cancer. It was heartbreaking.
We were without a dog for years (7? I think) when our life changed. My husband retired from the military and took a job away from home. So I was actually alone 4 or 5 days a week, so I needed a dog. I decided I wanted a Rat Terrier and was called by a friend about some puppies at a flea market. Not Ratties, but Jack Russells. So for $25.00 my first pup in over 10 years came home with me. This was great. She was great. Smart, quick, loving, and a homicidal maniac. Yes, a hunter. No squirrel, lizard, mouse or snake survived her.
Then came Bonny. A friend showed up at our front door with a tiny little golden pup. She was the last of the litter to survive and needed special care. Hubby was smitten, though I was concerned that Racer would think she was rodent not canine. But the six year old maiden dog took the mite and raised her as her own pup. Bonny out grew her ‘mom’ but never challenged or even reacted to her little mama’s temper. She just rolled over and took her play and and her fiery temper. Yes, the Jack was much tougher than the Pit.
But it took that darling daughter to break her mother’s stalwart heart. Bonny left us at only six years due to kidney failure. Race was devastated. Bonny passed at the vets and we didn’t bring the body home, something I regret bitterly. Race looked and looked for her daughter, she tore up doors, pulled up carpets, and cried for her. I believe she actually had a stroke she was so upset. I finally told hubby in no uncertain terms we needed a new dog. He agreed but, to my surprise, he wanted another terrier. No more Pit Bulls. They didn’t live long enough and we were getting to the point where a 60 pound dog could be a handful. So we agreed on another Jack Russell and got our Lil Abbott, a shorty Jack.
One thing about Jacks, they are tough little stinkers. For the fishermen out there, they are the black bass of the dog world. I’ll explain that in yet another blog.
But here’s my final word on Pit Bulls.
Pit Bulls are athletes. They are tough, honest, loyal, loving, faithful and wonderful dogs. If there’s a but to them, it is they are too good for mankind. A Pit Bull will do whatever you, their boss, will want them to do. In our case, we wanted them to be loving lap dogs and they were. Some people want them to be their sport dogs, chasing frisbees, tennis balls and become agility dogs, some want them to be Search And Rescue dogs, drug dogs, what ever. But the dark side of this is if you want them guard your stash of drugs, fight other dogs, be attack dogs or just be mean dogs they will excel in those things also.
Pit Bulls love their owners, even the evil ones, and ultimately those dogs are betrayed by human kind, specifically their masters. They are punished for being the very best at what they are asked to be, a mean dog.
I wish I had a cute quip to end this but I don’t. I can only pity these dogs, dogs that give their all for human kind and are ultimately betrayed. Now, all dogs are different. There are dogs with issues certainly, poorly bred dogs are always around and aren’t the best representatives of their breed whatever it may be.
I love Pit Bulls. They are probably the truest of the true and in some cases, the sadest of the sad.
Later, we’ll talk about Jack Russells and Rat Terriers. But for now, I’ve said my piece.
Oh and yeah there are lots of dogs in my book too. All kinds.
And if you want a dog, check with your local shelter, your vet, and of course Rescues.
Hug your dog tonight.
OLD LADY RANT: The question came up on a horse list should you register your horse. In my opinion you should always register your horse with some organization if he’s eligible. And if the horse does show or compete be sure to inform the registry so they can add it to his paperwork. It’s only fair to him. If he has to be sold later, those papers will prove his/her bloodlines for breeding, carry the show records including Competitive Trail and Endurance and even, in the case of BLM Mustangs, help find their home range. It helps secure a good future for him. Think about it. When you go and look at a horse what do you ask? Registered? check. Bloodlines? check. Show record? check. Is he sound? check. This can all be proven by good paperwork. How many times have we heard of horses someone saved from the kill pen only to find that they are old show horses (perfect for kids) race horses (barrel or jumping prospect) or royal bloodlines (even if you don’t breed). They were going to slaughter, no doubt, So how did they wind up there?
Here’s my story. You’re at a horse sale and see a pen full of Five chestnut mares offered for sale. All solid with some white on their faces. All fat and apparently sound. You can only afford one. Which one do you buy?
1. AQHA double bred King. 14 hands. kid gentle. no show experience. 2. ApHC and AIHR reg. Colida/Prince Plaudet bred 15 hands. Gentle and easy to ride. Some show experience and an endurance record. 3. AQHA Old Sorrel bloodlines. 15.2 hands Roping show horse. Good riding. Lots of wins and lots of money. 4. AQHA Impressive bred. 15.2 hands. no show experience. just a brood mare. She does carry HYPP gene. 5. BLM mare. 14.2 hands. Spirited horse for good rider. AIHR papers show she’s from Nevada. Has some show experience and won classes in Registry’s Natl show. Also, Competitive Trail Horse.
This makes it all easy. But take these 5 horses and put them in the same pen at an auction. Maybe some old cowboy can read the signs but how about you. 5 pretty mares. No history cause no one has their papers. So why don’t you give your horse a chance, spend a few dollars and git ‘er done. Oh, and be sure the papers go with the horse. Don’t send them to Mexico for slaughter on purpose.
Translation AQHA American Quarter Horse Association
ApHC Appaloose Horse Club
AIHR American Indian Horse Registry
BLM Bureau Of Land Management = Mustang.
This is a previous rant but I thought it was worth reposting.
OLD LADY RANT. I forget which trainer it was but it was someone with videos and such. I saw him at a seminar put on by TETRA years ago. Someone asked him about their spooky horse. Here’s a paraphrasing of his story.
A father and son were walking home through a cemetery. It was dark and quiet and they were holding hands. Suddenly from out of the darkness, a horrible screeching noise erupted. The father grabbed his son’s hand and yelled Oh, My, God. what’s that? Let’s run. So the ran and the boy was always afraid of the dark.
Another father and son were walking home through that same cemetery holding hands. Suddenly from out of the darkness, a horrible screeching noise erupted. The father looked down at his son and laughed. Look, son. Over there in that tree. See the little Screech Owl up in the tree? Isn’t it cute? C’mon lets go home and tell Mama. So they walked calmly out of the cemetery and the boy loved to go walking in the woods.
PS: This is not meant to hurt feelings or anything. I just started thinking about the message I was giving my horse. She always believed me and we soon began looking for our own screeching owls so we could enjoy them.