What’s New: Time to Start Planning 2019

Cover-Armchair Ghost HuntingHow long has it been since you published your last book? If it’s over a year, it’s time to start thinking about a new one. Having more than one book for sale often prompts people to buy them both, particularly if they enjoyed one. If there’s no second book, they’ll drift on to the next author.

Looking ahead to 2019, now is the time to determine if you have that next book in you and when you would like it to launch.

In general, it takes three to six months from when I receive a request to help someone self-publish and when it hits the Amazon “shelf.” The more lead time you have, the less stress there will be.

Questions about the process or improvement you’d like to make? Schedule a time to discuss your ideas so you have an effective plan for 2018.

What Will You Do Differently for Your Next Book? Suggestions.

You have probably heard the definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. The reason that phrase has such lasting power is it has a kernel of truth.
Instead of falling into this rut, how can you make your next book better and more noticed? Consider some of the following ideas.

Make creating your next book a priority. Instead of writing when you have time or at the end of the day, plan something every morning. Even 30 minutes a day will move you along rapidly.

Learn to write faster. A great tip is to plan out what you are going to write before you start. Even a few short phrases will get you moving. For example, “John’s wife is yammering. He must shut her up. Finds knife. Go for blood and gore.” While it’s not something I’d want to write, it certainly would get the juices flowing.

Start your marketing plan early. Three to six months before you want to launch your book is an ideal time to plot out what you want to do and make contacts. This is especially true if you want very busy people to endorse your book. You also need time to figure out your budget and how to do something you’ve never tried before–like a Facebook ad. (Side note: To learn to create a Facebook ad, check out Mark Dawson’s website.)

Read at least one book on your craft. For fiction, I highly recommend GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction by Debra Dixon. I don’t have a specific recommendation for non-fiction, but would love to hear about any recommendations from you.

Plan time for editing. Consider at least two rounds of editing, preferably with two different people reviewing your book. Also make sure you have time to accept and adapt your manuscript to these potential changes. If you go for a developmental edit, the changes to your manuscript could be massive.

Learn to use Word’s Review feature. It’s what editor’s use. Make your life easier. ‘Nuff said. (And for heaven’s sake, if you don’t have Word, please get a copy.)

Poetry and the Printed Page

In the past year, I’ve edited and formatted a few books of poetry. Poetry isn’t only a set of words, it’s sounds and how it appears when the reader scans it.

That’s when the problem begins.

Most poets I know write on a native Word document, which is set to 8.5 x 11 inches unless …

CreateSpace Merge with Amazon KDP

Just in case you thought everything was set — Amazon has started to implement the merger of CreateSpace and Amazon KDP. Details of the CreateSpace merge can be found here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GSJULX3WGP36HQ3R

You may receive a notice from Amazon, or notice a link when you log into CreateSpace. (Apparently, this link comes and goes, so …

New Self-Publishing FAQ Page

Service BellMy clients ask me questions … lots of questions!

A teacher at heart, I try to give complete, honest answers as part of the services I provide. My goal is to make you as independent a self-publisher as …

How to Tune Amazon KDP Knobs to Improve Sales

The Neighborhood Cover

Formatted and uploaded by Concierge Self Publishing

If your book has been out for a while, you may have noticed sales are diminishing … or they never got to …

Book Format: The Problems with Images

When people ask me for a quote for a book format for print, one of the first questions I ask is if they have photos or other images. There are two reasons.

1) Companies that produce either print on demand (POD) or print runs of books have certain …

Monday Montanan: A Concierge Self-Publishing Author

Monday Montanan: University of Montana economics professor and self-publishing author confronts Parkinson’s head-on

“April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and O’Donnell’s history with “PD” is but one of many in the Missoula area that can only be cast as heroic.”

Read more about this heroic and humor-filled author in the the Missoulian article.

Lemons and Lemonade: The Reality of Publishing


Creative Commons License: Mike Mozart, photographer

The one consistent in today’s world is change–especially if that world involves the reality of publishing.

A few things have happened lately that have made it necessary for me …

Should You Give Away Free Books?

As many of you know, I write romance. My next book (not self-published) came out the end of November. As a romance writer, I’m a member of several online writing communities. Periodically, there are discussions about the pros and cons of giving away books as part of the marketing effort. Does making a book free …

Why Do You Want to Write a Book?

Taking on Parkinsons CoverDepending on the statistic you find, one of the top goals for some 80 to 90 percent of Americans is to write a book. If you are reading this, you, too, have expressed this goal.

But …