Friday, June 29, 2012

Author Shout Out—Linda D. Welch

I’ve been exclusively reading Indie authors for a couple years and infrequently find an author with either characters or story that presses me to read late into the morning hours.

Reading
Along Came a Demon was a treat.

Enjoyed this immensely. Loved the characters. The sexual tension was perfect. I look forward to reading more.
 

Poor Linda… when I find an author I like, I tend to stalk…right CL, JC, Calista…?

Linda has five titles in
B&N and six in Amazon (did I count wrong?). I plan to read them all. If you enjoy paranormal/urban fantasy, give her a read.











-R. Mac Wheeler
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Blog Tour is Heating Up

My friend Lisa Shafer is also shouting me out over at her place today. Visit her blog too…she's the author of the great YA Confessions of an Average Half Vampire. It is on my reading list…the reviews are great.
Go there now, follow her, buy her book. You HAVE to support her…she's a teacher…and we love teachers. Go! Now! Buy her book!
-R. Mac Wheeler
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More Naked Pictures over at CL's Place

Running behind on my blogs today…see my good friend Caren Bevill is also shouting me out over at her place today. Visit her blog too…and if you've never read any of her titles (why not?) she has six marked free for the thievery. No excuse not to sample her writing.
Go there now, follow her, sample one of her novels. She is one of my favorite. Go! Now! Buy a book!
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Visit Me over at JC's Place--Naked Pictures

My writing bud, J.C. Phelps is hosting me over at her place today. Go over for a visit, and take a look at my 20 fav Sunday Safari photos.

And while you're there, follow her, and consider sampling one of her novels. She is one of my favorite. Go! Now! Buy a book! *smile*


-R. Mac Wheeler
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Today's Favorite Passage

There was a face in the waiting room that looked vaguely familiar. Either a fellow biker or a beagle, and by the cheap suit, imagined the latter. A biker would have better taste.
"You're an attorney?" I asked.
He nodded. 

Living in Shadow…in edit…available for your e-reader soon.
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

"The least you could have done was have coffee ready," Dad said.
"The sun isn't even up."
"Quick with an excuse. You sound like a good lawyer."
"Always with the lawyer jokes. You sound like a second-rate plumber."
"Thank you," he said. "Never been so complimented. Most people remind me I'm a journalist, like it's the lowest form of endeavor. I think prostitutes get more respect."
"Generate ecstasy," I said. "Journalists inflict pain and suffering."
Good point. I need to work that into an op-ed one of these days."

Living in Shadow…in edit…available for your e-reader soon.
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

To Self-Publish or Not To Self-Publish

I welcome my good buddy and writing peer JC Phelps. Welcome, JC.
I’ve been asked to do guest posts for people in the past, Mac included, and I always struggle with what to write about. I have this terrible feeling that if I talk too much about myself I’m being vain and egotistical. That being said, I’d like to talk about the decision to publish my books and why I chose to go the self-published route. It pertains to the blog and it is something I can relate to. Self-publishing is what I’ve been doing for years now.
Disclaimer:  I am a self-published author and my opinions lean toward self-publishing as the best option available to new authors. This piece is not intended to sway any writer away from the prospect of traditional publishing. If you feel traditional is the best route for you, take that road. 
Self-publishing is the lazy man’s way out.
At least that was what I thought. 
To possibly become traditionally published someday I would have to write numerous query letters, pitches and figure out whom to send those pitches and query letters to. Plus, I would actually have to go to the post office. Well, okay… I could just walk to the mailbox, but still.
I really didn’t want to take the extra time to pitch my books to someone who would just tell me no. My odds for a traditional contract were not good. Maybe after several hundred rejections of the hundreds of query letters I sent out – maybe someone would bite – maybe. Of course, there are exceptions, but my books are written strictly for entertaining the reader (and the author). There is nothing to be gained from the books other than a good time. They are not literary masterpieces and there is no moral.
The chance of The Alexis Stanton Chronicles being picked up by a publisher were very slim and I’d probably still be in query mode today. It’s not quite been ten years, yet. I think a statistic out there says authors spend an average of ten years querying publishers and agents before they become noticed.
Self-publishing allows me to remain in total control of my books.
One thing that bothered me about possibly landing a traditional deal was that I’d have to sign away all rights to my beloved books. All authors out there will know this feeling. My books are mine. They are a piece of me and I love them dearly. I didn’t want some arbitrary person telling me that I needed to change my story. The story is the story and that’s that. I didn’t write it with thoughts of salability but with thoughts of the characters and what was happening to them.
Self-publishing gave me the option to leave the story as is. But, it also gives me enough control to change the story ten years later, if I so choose.
Self-publishing has a higher return rate for the product.
In other words, my royalty percentages are higher per book sold.
Yes, I understand that they (the publishers) have overhead, but for the author, the creator of this brand new world, to only get 8% wasn’t something I was willing to do even more work for. I did not want to spend countless hours telling publishers and agents how great my books were for 8%. 
After doing plenty of research, I decided that the possibility of an advance was too slim for a first time author. And, even if I were offered an advance I’d have to decide if that offer was a large enough number to sell the story outright. Traditional publishing of new authors and actual copies sold doesn’t have that high of a statistics rate either. So, no advance or a very small one and 8% of sales just didn’t seem right to me. I love my characters and they seem worth a heck of a lot more than *80¢ a copy. (*based on a price of $9.99)  
Those points are the main reasons I chose to self-publish. Now I will explain exactly how those points figure into the reality of self-publishing.
Self-publishing is the lazy man’s way out.
Self-publishing is not the lazy man’s way out. It is a lot of work. The jobs your traditional publisher takes on for you (even if they aren’t many) are all up to you. 
You have to find a good editor that you can trust. You still have to edit your work, and more than likely you’ll have to edit it numerous times. Hopefully, you’ll find a great editor the first time around or you’ll be lucky enough to have friends, family and readers who are willing to let you know where they’ve seen mistakes.
You have to figure out the business side. The ISBNs, distribution, marketing and advertising are all a huge part of self-publishing.
Self-publishing allows me to remain in total control of my books.
I’m in total control of the content of my books, but I’m also completely responsible for that content. If you don’t edit them very well, that’s on your head. You have no publisher you can blame for missing that one it’s that should have been its.
Not only the editing responsibility, I have the responsibility of creating or finding and paying someone to create the best cover ever. The cover is one of the most important parts of your book. It’s the first thing a reader sees and if it doesn’t look professional, not many will take the bait.
Self-publishing has a higher return rate for the product. 
The 8% per book sold that I spoke of is an estimate for paperback copies and does not pertain to e-books or hardcovers. Each form the book takes commands a different percentage and it varies by each individual contract.
I will admit that after I had written my books I did want to try to make money from them. Why not?  But, I will also admit that I give my first book away at all outlets (e-book format). That nets me… nothing. I sell the other two books for $2.99 and $3.99 and I do get a 70% royalty from each sale of those two. That is approximately $2.09 and $2.79 per sale. 
The problem with this is making the sales. Traditional publishers are almost guaranteed a certain amount of sales per book because of their connections and experience in this field. Self-published authors have to find their audience all by themselves.
So, traditional publishing might still be for you. You get help with editing, a cover is created for you and they (the publisher) will help you distribute and sell. Also, you have that proof that your book is good enough to be published. Professionals in your line of work have said that they are willing to invest time and money in your product. That is a pretty good endorsement. 
If I, by some odd happenstance, were offered a contract from an outside publisher, I’d definitely look it over. There are things a publisher can do for you that you can’t do for yourself without a whole lot of research and other work and money.
There are loads of statistics out there. One that I’ve heard many different times is that the average self-published author is lucky to sell 500 copies of their book in their lifetime. This may still be the case, though I’m not convinced.
There has been a lot of talk about whether or not there is any money in writing. I’m not sure if there is for everyone but I’ve done fairly well. My philosophy, if you can write and you love to write – write. And, to expand that philosophy a little, if you can create a publishable piece – publish.
Self-publishing is no longer the kiss of death for a book/series. It is just one more avenue for us to consider.
Since I released my first novel I have written two more books in the series and have published them all in the various e-book formats. I’ve done my own marketing and have done okay with my sales. Then I had a wonderful stroke of luck that somehow put my books on the map. They still live out in the sticks, but they are on the map.
It isn’t easy to make a living as an author. Yet, there are people out there doing just that. I have been lucky this year. I’ve sold enough books to count my writing as a real job. I wasn’t able to do it last year and I might not be able to do it next year, but it is worth a shot. After all my research of both traditional and self-publishing this is more than I ever expected to get from my frivolous little world I created and I’m very happy.
So – to self-publish or not to self-publish…  Good luck! 
JC…thanks for visiting!!
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

Dad put his arm around me and kissed the side of my head. I wished I wasn't as tall as him. I wished he could have leaned over and kissed the top of my head. I didn't want to be the tall, mature adult. I wanted to feel like his little girl—just for a moment.
Living in Shadow…in edit…available for your e-reader soon.
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pix - Sunday Safari - Upper Tampabay Trail

You guessed it...with Tropical Storm Debby hanging over Tampa...I took my regular Sunday Safari. If you ever have a chance to hike in a tropical storm...I recommend it. Fun. Changes the earth somehow...in more than just the obvious.
 Enjoy these pix of the Upper Tampabay Trail
 Sorry for all the raindrops on the pictures...but remember...I was in a tropical storm.









I wasn't the only nut out there.






Hope you have a great week!
If you like my pictures...link over here from your favorite social site.
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

The static faded. I closed my cell and changed lanes to head for the interstate. A horn blared and I jerked. I'd cut someone off. I raised my hand and offered the lame-ass-I'm-sorry-I'm-an-idiot wave. I hated four wheels. On a bike you have three-hundred-degree vision. Of course it helped if you didn't have your head up your posterior.
Living in Shadow…in edit…available for your ereader soon.
-R. Mac Wheeler
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dear Jeff Bezos – Indie Quality

I have exclusively read Indie authors the past three years. Many have stories and characters that inspire and rivet. But mostly the poor editing annoys me so much I can't get past the third chapter.
Please consider instituting a quality program, an editing certification process authors can apply to show their work has been edited.
Please.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Programs exist already. Yes, it will take some coding to apply the process, and a creation of a new database. But a quality threshold is needed to take self publishing to the next level. It was needed years ago.
-R. Mac Wheeler
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