The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Indie author finally realizes a life-long dream of sharing her writing habit with the world.
Pamela Schloesser Canepa, self-published author and Earth inhabitant.

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How and when you started writing: I recall writing my first short story at age 8, when we traveled from Florida to Tennessee to visit my uncle and his family. I had to entertain myself in the car, and this came in quite handy! It was shared with family, and they all encouraged me profusely. I continued writing, for class, for myself, to exercise strong emotions, etc., but much of it was shown to no one. Still, it was good for me! I was a quiet little girl, and this helped me channel my voice.

How and when you first published: I entered poetry contests and got into vanity published books. If nothing else, it felt good. In my thirties, I published stories on my Myspace blog. (Don’t laugh)! I recently started blogging on WordPress this year, and shared some stories in contests on Wattpad, which started ideas for my novellas that have been published just this year (2016), in the sci-fi romance genre. My second two are science-fiction, but not strictly romance, however, and they carry a stronger theme.

Are you published Traditionally, Small Online Press, Indie Author, or combination?
I am an indie author. I think of the poems I got published in vanity press as a build up to where I am now.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
In a nutshell, I had to change from the little girl whose family gushed over her cute little stories, to the solemn, confused teen who wrote dark poetry and hid it. Then, I grew from the young woman who journaled her way into self-esteem after processing and leaving a bad marriage, to the woman who wrote poetry expressing her parental fears/frustration and shared them with the world, to who I am today, putting my thoughts into fiction in an attempt to get a message across while entertaining my reader at the same time. My writing journey has been a growth, not just as a writer, but as a person. I recently had a reader call one of my novellas “thought-provoking.” That was such an honor! Yet, I realize it is out there for criticism as well as praise, and I need to be ready for both. Some will love my work, and some will not. It comes with the territory.

What have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned that self-publishing also means self-promoting. That it is a lot of work. I’ve learned that some days I will get the writing or promoting fever and cannot stop until I’ve beaten that fever into the ground. I have also learned that having a friend who is in the same position as an indie writer is so invaluable. So I have joined Rave Reviews Book Club, through which I met the wonderful owner of this blog that is allowing me to spread news of my writing! I have also joined other writing forums online and made many helpful friends. I see that you can’t just take others’ support, you need to give it as well. That is what builds a community of indie writers who can learn from each other, and it really gets these books out there for the world to see.

What would you do differently? I would do more promoting, pre-publication. I would also likely expand the ideas in my first few novellas. However, when all three are read, they tend to make my intended point. I may add to them in the future. But for now, I am working on a full-length novel and I am going through the entire process of editing, re-writing, and editing again. It is not for the faint of heart.

Published e-books:

Made for Me is a sci-fi romance, the first in a series of sci-fi novellas. Be sure to also check out the sequel, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes! The third, and latest, in this series is From Bedlam to Ben! All are available at Amazon.

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Thank you for reading, and I hope you will find time to read and enjoy my books!

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The Power of Free

Book publishing has a long and honorable history

You have something to say, but the world just won’t listen. What’re you doing wrong? Maybe you’re being too stingy. If you have a message to share and no one’s listening, the best thing you could do is give some of it away for free.

The best way to get someone’s attention is to be generous. Giving your work away for free is something I’ve talked about for years. But it also comes with its share of challenges.

Read more at source: http://www.mdellert.com/blog/power-free/

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Yvette M. Calleiro

I’d like to introduce to you author, Yvette M. Calleiro, and welcome her to tell us all about her writer’s journey. Feel free to ask Yvette any questions, or just leave her a bit of encouragement. We all need that, right?

Yvette’s Journey

I started writing in 7th grade when my English teacher, Mrs. Beverly Hoffman, encouraged us to explore our imagination and put our thoughts on paper.  I wrote my first short story then.  Throughout high school, I wrote poetry.  It was nothing to get excited about, but it kept writing in my life and made it an outlet of sorts for me.  After my divorce, reading became an escape for me, and I realized how much I missed writing.  I started writing again, and I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing and daydreaming. 🙂

I published my first novel, The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) in January 2014.  I had wanted to go the traditional route, but more literary agents told me that they were either only working with already published authors or that they were not looking for my kind of story.  That is when I discovered everything indie. 🙂  I realized that many of the authors that I love started off as indie authors before being picked up by a publishing company.  So, I researched how to format my novel so that it would look professional.  I learned how to use Smashwords and Amazon to upload my book.  I learned how to use CreateSpace to create a physical copy for readers who enjoy the feel of a print book.  I created a web site and then joined the social media world on Facebook and Twitter.  Once I had everything in place, I released my baby into the world.

I can proudly say that I am an Indie Author. 🙂

Well, I told you how I got started.  It’s been a whirlwind since then.  I’m a single mom of a very active boy.  I work full-time+ as a high school intensive reading teacher. I add the plus sign after full-time because most people think that teachers leave work when the bell rings at 2:20pm.  I don’t think I’ve left before 4pm on a single day, and usually I am there until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m.  It’s a rewarding job but an exhausting job if you do it correctly.

After work, I have to help my son with all of his homework and take him to his flag football practices and games.  Somewhere in there, I try to go to the gym at least three times a week.  And then I try to find time to write.  I am always saying there is not enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do.

I have two published books: The One Discovered and The One Enlightened, both of the Chronicles of the Diasodz.  I just finished writing The One Betrayed and will be sending it off to beta readers very soon.  My weakest area is promoting.  I honestly just don’t have time to promote my books the way that they deserve to be promoted.  Whenever I have free time, I want to use that time for writing, so I barely get to promote.

I am grateful to organizations like the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) where the members generously promote my novel for me. I enjoy promoting them as well, and I find that it doesn’t take as much time to retweet or tweet about their books.  🙂

Part of my issue is that I’ve always hated to have attention on me, so it’s hard for me to promote myself and put myself in the lime light.  I tell myself that once the entire series is written, I will spend time promoting it well.  I guess time will tell if I stick to that plan. 😉

Life is a learning experience, and those of us who embrace our mistakes will grow to overcome them.  I am SO happy that I self-published.  One of the things I feel I did correctly is joining RRBC. I have learned so much from the members there.  I just participated in my first blog tour, and I’m about to push myself into joining a book trailer tour, even though I have no idea what I’m doing. lol!  They challenge me to grow as an author, and I appreciate their support.

Another thing I did correctly was finding beta readers. I learned about those on Goodreads, and I have found a small group of beta readers whose support I truly value.  I also learned a lot on Smashwords about formatting my novel so that it looked professional.  It was a little frustrating for me at first because I was terrified of getting reviews that stated that the formatting was horrible.  Luckily, I haven’t had any of those. Smashwords also put me in touch with my cover designer, and I am beyond blessed to have her creating my covers!

What would I do differently??? Win the lotto. Stay at home and write all day. lol! Honestly, I don’t think I would have done anything differently.  That’s not to say that things are perfect.  My first novel needs more revision.  After reading the reviews, many people complained about the switching in views; they also said that once they got past that, they loved the story.  It’s been two years since I wrote that book, and I’m rereading it now to make sure that book three (which I just finished writing) and book four (which I will start writing soon) stay consistent with the story line.  I understand their reviews.  I was going for third-person omniscient, but there are parts that switch point of view so quickly that it’s a bit confusing. So, eventually, I want to go back and revise book one.

I don’t mind bad reviews as long as they are honest.  Not everyone will love my stories just like I don’t love every story that is out there.  That’s okay.  I am a huge believer in respecting others’ opinions and learning from those who think differently than I think.  I still would not have changed publishing it when I did.  Having the book out there is what motivated me to write book two, and it has kept me excited about seeing this whole series completed. Everything happens for a reason. 🙂

Yvette

About The Author

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels.  She spends most of her time psuedo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to run on the elliptical machine or ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.

When she’s living amongst real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a high school Reading teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over eighteen years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who allows her to enjoy children’s literature all over again. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

My latest book:

I just finished writing The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3). I hope to have it published before Christmas.

My published books:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) 

TheOneDiscovered - Cover Design 10How do you choose when both options have dire consequences?

Sofia is a 17 year old who is quite content with her life. She has a caring boyfriend who also just happens to be her best friend since birth. She has a loving mother. She is successfully completing her last year of high school and enjoys her part-time job. She can’t imagine wanting more from her life…until Ar’ch (pronounced Ar-rick) enters her dreams, sparking a burning flame inside of her that she can’t seem to extinguish nor does she want to.

Ar’ch is a Diasodz (Die-ah-sodz), a species created by the Goddess back when God created humans. Diasodz were made to heal and protect humans, but when the Diasodz turned their backs on helping humans and left Earth to live in their own world, the Goddess abandoned them. Since then, their powers and their very lives have been fading. A prophecy foretold that a young girl born on Earth would be the Diasodz’s savior. Ar’ch and his brother, Angel, travel to Earth to retrieve her and bring her back to their world before her death day in order to save their kind. Ar’ch knows the drill: find the target, capture her, and safely bring her home. But what happens when the target captures his dormant heart?

Choices create action. Actions have consequences. When faced with the truth, what choice will Sofia make? Will she be able to accept the consequences that follow?

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2)TheOneEnlightened - book cover 3

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

My covers were created by the talented Tatiana Vila of Vila Designs. http://www.viladesign.net/

My website is: http://yvettemcalleiro.com
My blog is: http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com
My Facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/YvetteMCalleiro
My Twitter is: @YvetteMCalleiro

THE WRITER’S JOURNEY – GUEST, LIZ GAVIN

I would like to introduce to you a NEW regular category on Kim’s Author Support Page: THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. I’ve decided to host a guest spot each Sunday morning for this project. Please feel free to comment and ask Liz any questions you may have about her post.

My first guest for this spot is LIZ GAVIN. Thank you, Liz, for answering my call for articles for this category post.

BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR BY LIZ GAVIN

It is hard to write a novel. It’s time-consuming to the point we neglect family and friends. It’s so distracting we walk around with our heads in the clouds, hearing dialogs in our heads and seeing things that aren’t there.

It is also a fact that most writers know next to nothing about promoting their books. They – no, strike that – WE concentrate on the creative process. We enjoy creating to the extent we don’t have time to bother with ‘small’ details such as covers, formatting, trailers, blog tours, you name it! The word small is in between quotation marks because these things are HUGE for authors, more so for indie writers.

After all, let’s face it – the relationship between authors and readers sometimes raises delicate issues. Isn’t it frustrating to see a complaint from a reader about the fact your book looks ‘funny’ on their e-reader after all your hard work, the sleepless nights you had to go through to finish writing that particular book? As a writer, one may consider it unfair that another person ignored the content to complain about the looks of a book. As a customer yourself, can you blame that person for wanting a good quality product? I know I can’t.

If we don’t have the funds to employ a team of awesome, creative people to take care of covers, formatting, promoting and so on, we must do it on our own. If we don’t have the time and/or skills to take on this job, the next best thing is to find professionals who can help us.

CREATING COVERS

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You know that old saying ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’, right? Well, the thing is – most people do that. Some people do that all the time. I know covers can be misleading. I know a beautiful cover doesn’t mean the content is any good. However, I often wonder – why not combine an excellent story and a compelling cover?

Does it seem easy? Well… it’s not that simple. One must have a picture they can use. I mean, the author must have taken a useful picture himself/herself to avoid facing copyright issues. If they don’t have it, they need to find an image, with good quality resolution, and appropriate dimensions, at one of the many royalty-free stock image websites.

Does it still sound simple? If you’re an author, you know it isn’t. If you’re a reader, let me propose an exercise. Think about a book you’ve read. Any book. Think about its storyline and main characters. Forget its actual cover and go online searching for an image you think portrays that storyline and those characters. How long did it take you to find it?

Great. You have your image now. But, is the picture royalty-free? Is it ready to be used on the cover of your book? Do you need to edit it? Do you need to include a title and the author’s name? How do you do that? How long will it take you to finish your cover?

Phew! I’m tired already. Aren’t you? I told you it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Now, if you’re a reader, you now have a slight idea of what we have to go through to offer you a decent-looking cover.

Editing pictures can be tricky. It took me almost a year to master the basics of Photoshop. Some people never do. There’s an excellent website for editing images with user-friendly features called Pickmonkey. I’ve used it a lot as well. As for royalty-free images, my favorite source for is Big Stock Photo because they have variety, high-resolution quality, and fair prices plus a 7-day trial period when you can download up to 5 pictures a day.

FORMATTING EBOOKS

You spent countless hours researching for your book. You poured your heart and soul into the story. You made sure it was the best one you could have written. You uploaded it to the online stores and crossed your fingers. Readers liked it. They posted positive reviews about it until the day somebody pointed out the story was great but they couldn’t give your book five starts because there were too many blank spaces in it. After that, you started getting one-star reviews based solely on the formatting issues. Before you knew it, the online store froze sales of your book and sent you a friendly email asking you to fix said issues before they could put your book back on sale at their store. *PANIC*.

Do you think I exaggerate, that this is unlikely to happen? Well, a dear friend and fellow author went through this ordeal last year. He ended up missing the Christmas sales for his brilliant, non-fiction book because the major online store where he had published it froze his downloads until he fixed the formatting issues. Namely – a few words that weren’t properly separated on the final ebook file and extra spaces between paragraphs that ‘hindered the reader’s optimum reading experience’. Bottom line is – we never know when an apparently small issue will amount to a huge one.

The important question is – is formatting eBooks a difficult task? Well… yes and no. It took me a while to figure out how to do it. I wasted a lot of time until I figured it out I needed to set up the Word® files in a specific way before converting them. Almost by accident I stumbled on a comprehensive guide on formatting Ebooks called ‘Building Your Book for Kindle’. I downloaded it free of charge at the ‘Help’ section on my KDP Account Dashboard. It is a step-by-step guide – with screenshots to guide you through the whole process – from setting up your .doc file to uploading it to the automated converter on Amazon KDP. Once I created a compatible file, I used it as template for the following ones. Smashwords also offers good guides to formatting and publishing on their store. If you want to sell your books on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple, I recommend Draft2Digital. They offer excellent service for free, and attractive royalties plans. Plus, you can use the same .doc file you uploaded to Amazon (minus any live links).

PRINTING YOUR BOOKS

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Before I became a writer, I had always been an avid reader. I would read almost anything I could find. Granted, if the book was really awful, I wouldn’t finish it. Still, I would try to read it. I revered the printed pages of books to the point of being unable to write on them, to make notes on the margins, as some of my friends would do when we were teens. (Yes, I’m old. I grew up reading books, not Kindles! LoL)

Anyway, my point is that I viewed printed books as precious things. As I grew older, I learned authors worked hard before getting a break and being published. I discovered how expensive it was to print a book. And I heard about the minimum number of copies a publishing house needed to print to put a book in the stores’ shelves. This information added to my previous idea about the rarity of printed books.

Consequently, when I started toying with the possibility of writing, I didn’t dare consider printing them. I pushed that thought to the furthest corners of my mind and forgot about it. Until the day I didn’t remember to forget it. LoL

There are many companies offering ‘POD or print-on-demand’ services – if you’re not familiar with the term, it means they will print and deliver books as customers buy them. In my opinion, as an indie writer, the greatest advantage of printing a book when the reader buys it is the cost. And the biggest disadvantage is the price. Meaning – indie authors can’t usually afford the traditional publishing process. On the other hand, printing-on-demand a 400-page book will make your selling price go up to the stratosphere if you want to keep a sizeable margin of profits.

Having said that, I must confess that I chose to offer my books in print, with a very small margin of profit, mainly because it fed my ego. There, I said it! But in my defense, I had my reasons. You see, that little girl I used to be, who spent hours in the neighborhood library gawking at the endless shelves of precious books, still lives inside me. She jumped around and somersaulted countless times when she held a printed copy of my first novel. I told myself I had decided to sell printed versions of my stories because many people don’t like reading eBooks. Although that might be a fact, little Liz Gavin is the real reason. She is saying, “I’m a ‘published author’ now. I ROCK!” while doing a little happy dance!

There are various companies to choose from when you decide to sell your stories in print. Personally, I stuck with CreateSpace because I thought it would be easier to work with a company from the Amazon group since most of my titles are published exclusively there.

Thank you once again for stopping by today. Hope you had fun! I know I did.

Liz Gavin

LIZ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When Liz Gavin was in Second Grade – just a couple of years ago, really – her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.

Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.

Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.

As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.

Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Blog
Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page – FOR ALL HER TITLES

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It’s Difficult Being an Author

Honestly, I had no idea being an author was such a difficult thing. You write your stories when you have a publishing company and you’re gold, right? Right? Apparently not. It seems that writing the book is the easy part and the struggle starts after that.

Let me first list my assumptions as a non-writer. You writers can IM amongst yourselves and snicker over my naivety. It’s okay, because I’m still going to buy your books. I like your characters too much…darn you. Then, I will let you know what the authors have told me we can do as readers to help them out. Ready? Get your IM windows ready authors.

Assumption One: All Authors Go on Book Tours

Nope. The publishing companies only spend the big touring bucks on their big names. A lot of the smaller names have to do what they can to spread their name. This…

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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Archer's Aim

mailYou’ve often heard the simple notion expressed, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It has a meaning that if you do nothing don’t expect anything. When it comes to building your email list, this is still true. But how you approach it can make a difference between gaining and losing people from your list.

I recently approached my email list growth with some trepidation. Why? Well, none of us want to be, or feel like, we are being spammed. However, I was faced with a particular problem – converting blog followers to email list members.

For many self-hosted site owners followers and email list members are synonymous – whoever subscribes is a part of both sets. However, for someone like me who is hosted on WordPress, people can follow my site as a member of the WordPress community without subscribing to my email list (and there are those who do follow by…

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Fantasy Authors Unplugged: Schedule Re-Cap

Archer's Aim

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule.

Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list

There’s no one on the schedule this week for Fantasy Authors Unplugged so here’s a recap of the last several months of authors:

At the end of April, Tamie Dearen shared about her YA fantasy novel, Alora: The Wander Jewel

cover_bundle_700For May, the following authors appeared on Archer’s Aim for Fantasy Authors Unplugged:

Michael Davies – Path of the Warrior which has since been released.

Carol Marrs Phipps shared, Doom, the latest title in The Heart of…

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