Monthly Archives: June 2016

Novel #9. Done.

13466293_10104239379596268_8255370113230019437_n

 

Am I the only one that gets super sad after finishing a novel? There’s a moment of elation at first. Like, hell yes. I did it. I’m finished. And then it’s like…But wait. I’m going to really miss these characters. I don’t want them to leave. WAHHH.

This novel, Wake You, was the second book in my Dust to Dust duology (two book series) about Dex, a Scythe–sorcerer Grim Reaper–who is assigned to Reap the soul of his ex-best friend, Roland. It’s an M/M paranormal romance and I am obsessed with these two characters. I honestly think LGBT is my true niche. My best novels and characters have been LGBT.

I’ll still write hetero stuff, of course. I don’t discriminate. I love everything 😉

Anyway. Now that I’m finished with this novel, I’m going to move backwards for just a bit, re-editing my first three novels so I can format them myself. (And there were a couple of things in Oaken that really bothered me.) I wanted to learn how to format so I can manipulate the files whenever I need to, like adding buy links to the back and such. Right now, I have to contact my formatter any time I need something changed, which costs me money and time in the end. Both of which I’d like to save.

I’m also going to be writing a prequel to the Underground Series to give away for free as people sign up for my mailing list. 🙂 It’s going to be a novella based on the love story between Autumn and Luke’s parents. I’m excited to venture back into the Underground (and the Outside) again.

THEN I’ll finally be publishing The Choice, another, rather personal LGBT novel of mine.

That’s it for now. I’m going to go mourn over my finished novel some more now.

*Sniff*

Subscribe to Melody’s Newsletter

Advertisements

10 Things to Consider Before Self-Publishing Your Novel(s)

13413031_10104215777569918_790572402972533774_n

So, if you’ve read my older posts, you know that I took Bethany Claire’s class on self-publishing. It was…eye opening to say the least. As a USA Today Bestselling author, she knows her stuff. She’s got this down.

I thought I knew my stuff. But I didn’t. Like at all. I mean, I had the basics down and that was about it. But now I do. Thanks to her amazing class. And she was kind enough to give her permission to share her wisdom.

When self-publishing for the first time–or even the second or third–you are kind of going in blind for the most part. Unless you are friendly with another author who has done it before you and is willing to share their wisdom, then you are having to do the research almost all on your own.

Some people just want to publish one or two books, just to have them. And that’s great. But some people want to make a living out of writing. In that case, it’s important to look at self-publishing as a business. These 10 things are more for the latter.

There are SOOO many things to consider before clicking the “publish” button. But here are 10 of the most important ones:

1. Decide whether or not you will use a pen name

This is not a mandatory thing at all. I don’t personally use a pen name, at least at this time, because I love the sound of my real name and I don’t write anything that I wouldn’t want anyone to know about. Some people think that it’s best to use a pen name so you can keep your professional life and personal life separate. Either way, decide this before all the rest of the steps. Because if you are using a pen name, you’ll want it to be attached to everything related  your business.

2. Buy your domain name

Hopefully, it’s not taken. If your name (or your pen name) is Bob Bobbington, then you’ll want to see if the domain name bobbobbington.com is available. If it is (YAY) then you should consider laying down the $100 or so to own it. It just looks more professional to have your name with .com at the end of it than to include a blog site title in there as well.

3. Set up your email account 

Once you have your domain, you’ll want to consider changing your address from @gmail.com to something like contact@bobbobbington.com or something like that. Also more professional. Fake it ’til you make it! 😉

4. Meet with an accountant

Whether you are wanting to establish an LLC or a Sole-Proprietorship, it’s important to meet with your accountant to discuss your intentions in regards to your business. They will be able to advise you and help you along the way.

5. Open a Post Office Box

This is mostly for those of you who plan to have a mailing list (which should probably be all of you if you want to keep readers coming back). Most sites like MailChimp require a mailing address, and it’s just best not to have your personal, home address listed at the bottom of every newsletter. Especially if you took the time to create a pen name!

6. Get a business bank account

This is mostly for those of you who decide to go the LLC route. It’s best to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses. It also makes it easier when tax season rolls around.

7. Open a PayPal Account for the business

Most of the services you’ll be paying for will accept PayPal. You are able to set up a Business PayPal Debit card, which will pull from your business account. They even have some cool features like money back and such. This also helps if you set up something on your website that people will need to pay you directly for (like signed books, etc.).

8. Plan to set aside 30% of royalties received for taxes

Your accountant will tell you more about this. All I will say is that you really don’t want to have tax season sneak up on you and not have enough money in your account to pay what you owe. As my mom used to say, “That money is not yours! It’s the government’s!”

9. Write a series! (Or at least think about it)

One of the secrets to making it big as a self-published author is writing a series. If someone buys book one and loves it, then they will probably buy book two and book three and so on and so on. The more books you have in a series, the more they will likely buy. If you aren’t a series writer, that’s okay. But know that, to make the money self-publishing some of us dream of making, it is necessary to keep producing a product. It sucks to call our babies (books) “product,” but that’s what it is.

10. Make a business plan

If you’re going to treat self-publishing as a business, it’s a good idea to have a plan. Know what you intend to make, know what you want to do in regards to how much you are willing to pay for covers, editing, formatting, advertising, marketing, etc. A lot of the time, you will have to have money up front. Hopefully, though, you will make back what you spent. And then some. 🙂

I will say that, no, I did not have all of this in place when I first self-published. But I SO wish I had. Again, not all of this is mandatory. But each one is something to consider and ponder before clicking “publish.”

 

Subscribe to Melody's Newsletter

West Texas A&M Writers’ Academy

Every year I escape to a writer wonderland in Canyon, Texas. The Writers’ Academy. It’s a week-long, intensive workshop setting where writers come in as one person and leave as somebody completely different.

When I completed my first novel, I didn’t even know there were other people like me out there. I mean, I did. But I didn’t know there were any close by. I reached out to a creative writing teacher I had when I attended Wext Texas A&M in 2009 and asked her for some advice on publishing. She gave me the contact information for a local writer named Jodi Thomas.

I did some research and learned that Jodi really knew her stuff. She was a New York Times Bestselling author and she was living only a few hours from me. I emailed her, not expecting to get an immediate response, but within a few days, I’d received a follow-up from her. She said that she would be in Lubbock the next week and asked if I wanted to meet for dinner to talk about writing.

Um. Yes, please!

So, we met and I got to talk to someone who was just like me. Someone who breathed writing like it was her life source. Then she told me about the Writers’ Academy. I had to come, she said. It would change my life.

And it did.

Imagine. An entire workshop of 50 or so people that are obsessed with the same thing you’ve been obsessed with for years. People who don’t think it’s strange to carry around journals or to jot down interesting names to use for a character. People who are filled with words just like you. This was my idea of paradise. And now I return every single year.

This year I will be taking Bethany Claire’s class on Self-Publishing. As a self-published author, you might think it would be pointless for me to take such a class. But I know I have so much to learn about this craft that is truly a business. Sure, I can write a book. I can write several books. But getting them out there when no one knows (or cares) who you are is more difficult than I ever imagined.

I’m excited and nervous. Nervous because I know I’m going to learn about the things that I should have done with my first four novels. I’m nervous because I know this class will be the catalyst I need to get my email list up and running and all the other stuff that goes along with publishing a novel. Self-pub or traditional.

I’m nervous. But I’m ready. 11048719_1092639154083643_1582680029528583240_n