Category Archives: Author

KEEP MOVING

It’s funny how we don’t consider housework, or chores around the house as exercise. I know I say my chosen manner of exercise is time on a stationary bike.  Hey, I can even read a book while I’m peddling. Perhaps housework isn’t fun enough to be considered an excellent form of exercise. I’ve never heard anyone say that they’d washed all the floors in their house for one hour, in place of a workout at their neighborhood fitness club. Perhaps, it’s because we can’t measure the work the same as a device that measures how far we’ve gone or how many calories we’ve burned. Who knows? Maybe there is something electronic out there that can count the mop swings.

I have to really be psyched up to make myself vigorously wash all of the floors in my home, let alone dust. I will procrastinate until company’s coming or I just have to clean them. It is so much easier for me to jump on the stationary bike and read a book.

The man in the picture is my husband Greg. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008. Here he is with our youngest grandson, Johnny.

Over the years my husband has stopped drinking and smoking, two very hard things to do and which I admire him for. Still, at this writing, I am the most proud of all he can do in a little block of time each day. I’m sure there are a lot of people who have disabilities of some sort and sit on the couch and brood for months to years, and frankly who can blame them? Yet with Greg, he knows that his body will function better in the mornings, and he gets up and gets busy at the store, house, garage, or outside and gets a lot done. He doesn’t do much procrastinating because he knows that if it is going to get done it will have to be done in the morning hours. Basically, there will not be any energy left; he cannot move very well the rest of the day. Mind over MS, he says. This attitude propels him forward. What he does is exercise, but he has something to show for it by helping to keep our family going, or to enjoy something he does outside. Gym or exercise equipment will not do it for him.

I can procrastinate when it comes to writing as well, and that is during the time not filled with family, cooking, job, shopping, etc. Well, writing is work, a brain workout if nothing else. If we keep moving we will have something to show for our work. If writers work hard enough they will have a finished manuscript and one day a published book.

We all must keep moving forward, with our bodies, our minds, and our dreams in the allotted time we have. One day, not a one of us will have any time left. So, let’s keep moving and have something to show for our labors.

New Book on the Horizon!

The new book is finished! Whew! I just now sent it to a couple of people to read and then off to the publisher to see if it works for them. It’s a trip back to Salisbury Junction, re-visiting some of the characters of Maya’s Gold and A Place to Land. The hero is an FBI agent looking for a terrorist and the heroine is restoring her family’s motel. No name for this baby yet.

Self-Publishing 4

aHauntTRILLIUMfallsCVR01Do it yourself self-publishing can be a scary thought, but if you can write a book and get it ready to publish, then you do have enough skills to get that book out there. I took the plunge and so can you.

What made me change my attitude from scary to possible? Sure, I talked to others who had done it, but I was still hesitant, until I came across a book by Lucinda Moebius called Write Well Publish Right. First of all, I was interested in reading a book about writing from a high school and college teacher. Her book is what she teaches her students from beginning to the end at publishing. Mainly, I thought maybe I could implement some of her concepts into ideas for teaching language to small groups. Moreover, what I really took away from this book is that it is possible for me to self-publish a book.

Lucinda states that it is easy with the use of the formatting guides available through ePublishing platforms. She hired a formatter for the Kindle version of her science fiction books, but formatted the Smashwords version on her own. Also, she had help with her cover, hired an editor, and went through Amazon CreateSpace as her printer. Many times she states that it is up to you to do your own research and do what is best for you.

Yes, she inspired me, so I went to createspace.com and got started. There an author can put in the title and paste in your manuscript and cover. Remember you have to have an ISBN number for your e-book, another one for your print book and CreateSpace can provide them for you. I did have to hire help with the e-book, my son did the front cover work, then I hired Fiverr for the spine and back cover for which I paid a little extra. Instead of five dollars with Fiverr, it was ten dollars and I’m very happy with their work.

I learned that the CreateSpace process for me was somewhere between adding art and print to a Vistaprint writing advertisement to doing my own taxes (on an easier year).

Yesterday, I went to hear multi-published author, Joanne Pence, give a talk about self-publishing at my local writers group in the Boise area. After already using CreateSpace, I learned the following information:

For those of you that want to add a publishing name to their self-pubbed books, Joanne says that you can go through SBA.GOV for your assumed business name. Registering a name will cost you $25.00. For my writing business name of Melland Publishing, LLC, I went through the Secretary of Idaho and paid $100.

Joanne also says that off-white or cream is the paper color of most fiction books. The 6 x 9 inch book size is becoming the industry standard and costs less than a book sized 5 ½ x 8 1/2 inches. You can buy a cheaper, older version of Adobe Photoshop on eBay for making your own covers.

Finally, Joanne adds that, especially for multi-published authors, the value of going to kdp.amazon.com and using them exclusively to sell your e-book for your first 90 days can give you five free days on Amazon. It’s a way to get your name out there in hopes of readers choosing to buy and read your other books. After 90 days you can renew with them, or you can put your book into an .epub format and download it to other bookselling sites.

Yet, as Lucinda says, you need to do your own study and then decide what is best for you.