As you may, or may not know… I have been writing a short story to go along with “The Scepter of Maris” series. It is a prequel novella that takes place about two years before “A Soldier’s Honor” and features some of the characters from that book. The story mainly focuses on Meric, Malina, and James, but there are a few other minor characters from Book One, as well as some new ones being introduced. It is certainly not necessary to read this before you read “Honor”, but if you are interested in how James first meets Meric and Malina, you will find it there. I will be putting it up on Amazon as a $0.99 download on the Kindle, so there is really no reason not to grab it and enjoy. Below is the cover and a brief synopsis of the novella.
Horrible crimes have been committed on the road to Yost, a lakeside traders town in the Kingdom of Glendon. Already set to hunt down the ones responsible for the first set of murders, the Yost garrison commander Captain James Bridgewater discovers two more instances to lay at the feet of these bandits. The most recent crime is the worst of all, and it has James and his men more determined than ever to put a stop to it. With the help of two new allies, he will show these bandits the meaning of justice.
It should be up soon, but for right now it is being checked over by my amazing editor (also read sister) Leslie Dupree. Once I get it back and go through all of the revisions and any polishing I might deem necessary, I will put it up on Amazon. The cover is from Author Marketing Club (a very helpful site for aspiring authors), and will probably be temporary, just like the one for “Honor”. The new cover for “A Soldier’s Honor” is being done by an amazing artist (also read cousin) named Mack Beasley, and I hope to talk to him about doing one for this book as well. One of the hardest parts about self-publishing is not have the resources or money for things like editing and book covers. I am very fortunate to have people helping me along the way.
I will put up another post when the book is available for download, but for now… back to Book Two.
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I just received the proof for the print version today. It is definitely a different experience having a hard copy of your own book in hand. How that might feel never crossed my mind, even through the process of getting it set up for ‘print on demand’ via the createspace.com site.
It took several tries, some trial and error, and learning a few things I did not know about Scrivener (awesome writing software) and MS Word, but I finally submitted the correct files to get it printed. The actual submission process was not that difficult. I found the site to be pretty user friendly. It was quick and painless, and if not for the need to reformat and review multiple times it probably would only have taken me a half an hour, tops. That is only to submit the files, of course. Then I had to wait for Createspace’s review process, which they guarantee takes less than 24 hours. They were right, it took less than that each time I had a ‘do-over’.
Next time I will have a better idea of what I am doing, and should have a much less stressful time of it. Now all I have to do is go through the proof, and if I feel it is ready to publish, I approve it to be placed on the website for sale. They offer many channels to sell through, but it will definitely be listed on Amazon along with the Kindle version.
So, there it is… it’s a pretty neat feeling, and I hope it gets the book out there and into the hands of some non-kindle users.
I read a lot of indie/self-published books. Many of them are great stories that I am glad I took a chance on, whether for the very interesting plot, some cool characters, finding an original idea or even a great take on a classic idea. One thing that has never been a real deal breaker for me is grammar. I always hope that the author took the time to proofread, had someone proof/edit it for them or even had the book professionally edited. It is something I hope for, but I can work around it. I go through the reviews before buying a book, just to see what others are saying about the story. Sometimes I find some info in there that turns me away from the book, even if it has had mostly favorable marks. For me, this is usually when a reviewer reveals a bit about the book that just does not agree with me. I will not go into specifics, because there is not a set of rules that I go by. It’s just more of a feeling I get when I am going through what others thought of the book. I never know what will turn me away.
One thing that I have never let discourage me is the reviews mentioning grammar or editing. There are plenty of readers out there that this is a real showstopper. They are completely turned off by a book that has not been edited, especially when it seems that the writer did not even proofread their own work. It pulls them out of the story, ruins the flow or just plain disgusts them. I can understand this. I don’t let it bother me that badly, but even I have read books that I remember getting frustrated about. There is no way that the author proofread what they had written. Very simple mistakes: where instead of were, their for there, words missing. Homonym, Homophone, Homograph. I did not really remember these or the other common errors from my high school English, but it was something I have always been able to pick out when I am reading. These are things that seemed to jump out at me as I read, so there is no possible way the person writing could have missed them if they had just went back over what they had written. They must have been in such a hurry to publish that they did not bother. Very amateurish. Yes, I know I am an amateur at writing, but still…
Then I turned my finished book over to someone else to edit. I knew that they would be busy with corrections, because I was struggling a little with certain things. Mainly dialogue, comma placement and when to capitalize a particular word; simple fixes. I got the story back and started on revisions. Talk about an eye opener. The book was littered with these same amateurish mistakes. Six in the first chapter alone, and I had reread the first half of the book fifty times (no exaggeration). Silly mistakes that should have jumped right off of the page, but I had passed over them multiple times. It was a very humbling experience, to say the least. So now I have even more tolerance for those people that have these types of errors in their writing. Not everyone is as fortunate as me to have someone that can act as an editor, and it is likely that the majority of us self-published (or soon to be) writers can not afford the professional services available. I am trying to be more vigilant in my second book, but I know there will still be some of these errors present (there are probably plenty in this post). I can only do my best, and use this as a teaching moment to help me improve my writing.
I would love to hear your thoughts, or about similar experiences. Just reply below or click on the ‘contact‘ page.
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