Category Archives: authors

Are you a New Author?

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?


Writers Beware is one of t
he first websites all new authors need to read before they look for a publisher or at self-publishing. Along with this you should read ‘The Ultimate Author Checklist.’ an great PDF full of information from an excellent Marketing website.

Both websites are excellent resources for authors. Writers Beware informs and keeps us updated of things we need to be aware of. It lists Vanity Press and all the ongoing scams which are ripping us off due to writers not doing their research correctly. It is also continually updated. What a lot of writers do is Google publishing or ask in writing groups we belong to. The problem is Vanity Press know how to use SEO’s to their advantage and Writing Groups get a lot of Scammers in them or people who say they know what they’re doing when they don’t.

The Checklist is more about setting yourself up as an Author, getting social media working for you, making or paying for a website and so much more. We give this PDF out to our clients no matter how far along they are in their journey.

SEO’s (just in case you don’t know what they are.)

Search Engine Optimization. Part of this is keywords businesses use to get their sites and adverts in the top spots on Google and other types of search engines. Because it is at the top, you are more than likely to go and click on them, and they have you… unless you know the ropes of what they are offering, which is why research is important part of life.

Many of you will use your own keywords during your publishing and marketing days to help readers find and buy your books. Publisher Rocket is great for finding good Keywords for your genre. (It was formerly known as KDP Rocket.)

Costs

The first thing you need to be aware of is the cost of publishing. Many say it is FREE!  It isn’t. Uploading a manuscript and book cover to KDP and other distribution websites is generally FREE, though some do charge fees. (Ingram Spark and Lulu). All Vanity Press businesses will charge you large amounts of money. Not only that, they also charge BEFORE they do any work on your manuscript. You will also be asked to sign a contract which you need to read and understand. A lot of these contracts give them copyright of your manuscript in all types of publishing, be it eBook, paperback or hardback. Each one will cost you more money to produce. If you wish to get out of the contract, they can take ninety days or more to hand back copyright. You will need the associated paperwork to prove to distributors like KDP that the copyright has reverted back to you.

Vanity Press

The main worry about Vanity Press is they don’t do the work they promise. They don’t pay out the royalty; they charge you for storage of books they print, some expect you to buy copies in their hundreds and of course you pay for freight, which they charge more for than they should. I know of one person who did their own freight, and it came out $400 cheaper… This is why WRITERS BEWARE is a must read.

Another thing you all need to remember… When you have work done in your home, building a deck, car maintenance etc… You don’t pay them until they have finished the work. You pay AFTER the work is finished. NEVER pay a contractor in the writing world until you have approved the work they’ve done for you, unless it is a deposit, which many businesses use these days, so they don’t get scammed by clients. Sadly, this does happen and has happened to my business.

Research

Research every contractor you work with. Seek out the details you need by asking the right questions. Get to know what those questions are by reading blogs. Ask for sample edits from various editors and find which one you feel more comfortable working with. Do the same with graphic designers and illustrators for book covers and images you may wish to use. There are certain things contractors need to know to do their job correctly.

This is a post I wrote a while back about Fiverr and Graphic Designers...after all you get what you pay for!

Editing

Do they edit in the English Language you use—British, American, Canadian, Australian, etc?

Do they edit in your genre?

What type of editing do they offer?

Line Editing, Copy Editing, Beta Reading, Proofreading?

How much experience do they have?

Do they have qualifications, or have they learnt on the job?

Do they have good reviews (ten or more good ones)

Graphic Design

Do they buy stock photos?

What DPI do they work with?

What type of file do they save too?

Are the fonts they use for commercial usage?

Proof of purchase of any fonts and stock photos?

You can use photos you have taken as long as you can prove they are yours.

Reverse check any sample images they give you. (some lie or steal other peoples work)

Ask other Authors and check out their covers.

Check reviews (ten or more good ones)

The last thing you want is to be sued by a photographer or font designer for copyright infringement.

Formatting or Interior Book Designer

As well as being an Author Consultant, bringing contractors together to build books, I also work as a formatter, and turn manuscripts into a professional files to upload on KDP and other distribution websites. There are many formatting apps around now, though many are not as professional as people seem to think. Pick up a paperback printed by a traditional publisher, and you will see what I mean. Look at how it is set out, how tidy it is. If you are contracting out for formatting, you will be paying more than $10 to get a professional finish. Note the differences between eBooks and print books. There are quite a few, including page numbers- which don’t start on the first page of the manuscript, header and footers, endnotes/footnotes, images and in eBooks Alt Text for images so people who are sight impaired can read the image.

Technology Growth

Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, changes and updates happening all the time. If you’re not a techy person, then you do need to research every detail about producing a book. It is hard work if you want a professional outcome.

Always remember paperbacks and hardbacks need to be justified with a line spacing of 1.15 cm at the most. Indents shouldn’t be more than 0.5 cm. Learn how to use STYLES in WORD if you write in WORD. If you use an app, you still need to make sure these things are correct. This means you need to learn to use the app correctly, watch the videos, or talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. Keep yourself updated with the changes.

Websites and Social Media

Most authors have websites, though these only work if you use them, share the posts, and have a marketing plan. You need to know about SEO’s and keep your website relevant. Post at least once a week. Talk about your books and yourself, about your writing, how your muse helps or hinders you. There are plenty of ideas out there which you can write about.

Social media also seems to be slipping to the wayside, especially Facebook with all their rules and regulations, people getting banned for weeks or months. I’ve noted a lot now use Instagram and TikTok, if you’re not camera shy like I am. You can get Book Trailers made for YouTube or you could read one of your books on video and share the links.

Marketing

An excellent resource for Marketing is ‘The Ultimate Author Check List.’ It is brilliant, and even I still need to finish reading the document and put things into place. Marketing will cost more money and this should be the only one going cost with your books. If you are a techy person, you maybe able to make Teasers and Adverts to use, remembering each social media website has criteria your advert needs to fit.

Once again, be careful of scammers, especially from those who approach you! Most are dubious. I like to work with people who have reached out to me or have read a review. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing. Don’t forget to leave your contractor a review, especially if they fulfilled all the criteria of the contract.

We welcome questions in the comments area. We are happy to help new authors find the right way to go for their needs. Meanwhile, be careful out there.

Welcome to 2022

Picton, New Zealand looking out over Waikawa Bay

Hurray, 2022 is here, well in New Zealand and a few other countries… Looking forward to you all joining us and celebrating a brand new year where positivity will move us all forward in leaps and bounds. At least I hope so.

Lots to do and a business plan for this year to sort out before work commences on the 6th Jan 2022. We have five books to work on over the next couple of months with another touching down in April. It is going to be great fun working with these clients, they are awesome writers and people.

Business

Part of the plant this year is to take Monday’s off and do a course on Marketing. Though I have some marketing skills, I need to up my skills to move this business forward to the next stage. As many of you not, our business says Publishing House in the title. At this stage we don’t actually publish any client’s work, we only prepare work for distribution. I work as an Author Consultant and Formatter. This is due to the fact, USA business tax is complicated (to say the least) With saying this, we will eventually look into publishing in New Zealand, though the costs are much higher than KDP, Smashwords etc. This is because printers in New Zealand don’t understand the POD (Print on Demand) system or don’t use the system the same way as overseas. They have a single price for one book, it is set out… the more you buy the cheaper the books are. This means it can cost thousands to print books and is sadly out of many writers pockets, which is why we use places like KDP.

Sadly KDP can be tricky and terminate accounts and not pay-out royalties whenever they so choose. Considering those of us living outside an Amazon area/country, we only get paid after we’ve earned $100 USD, POUNDS, EURO etc. With this warning, please be careful out there and read all the policies of the places your distribute your work through.

As well as up-skilling my marketing, I am also updating my graphic art skills, mainly on GIMP, learning to do layers etc. I had a blast about ten days ago with a new client and their book cover. Slightly frustrating, though enhancing my skill.

New Clients

I have several new clients coming up this year, though will blog about them at a later date, when they are ready for publishing. An interview is a great way to introduce you all to new writers. Along with this I am hoping to have an Instagram day, where I will post about books once a week… first though, I need to learn how to use Instagram a bit better than I do. I’m not good with a phone and wish we could post via computer. I’ve heard some can, so will see what happens this year. We also need to finish updating this website and adding the links we are missing. If you see a broken link, please let me know.

Lots of learning. Weekends will be for family. We will have set hours, though we will also always answer Fb messages when we see them due to the time differences around the world.

Reviews

If you have books on Kindle Unlimited and they are in a genre we read, then please let us know and we will read and review. Reviews will be fair and only done if we can give 4 or 5 stars. Anything less and we will message you… the author, instead and let you know what issues we’ve found, be it formatting, or editing, etc.

Introducing Rob Shackleford, Historical and Sci-Fi Author

Interview With An Author

 

What is your name?

Rob Shackleford

Do you have any pen names?

No

Tell us about where are you from?

I live in Australia, at a mountain area called Mount Tamborine with my partner Deb and our cat Mr Moo. This is our escape after living on the coast, so can be considered our Green escape.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I have foolishly started a new business in the importation of a water filtration bottle called a Paany! It essentially removes germs from your drinking water. I was approached by people I used to work with and decided – what the heck – I can always do with more money! I suppose I like the thought of humanitarian aid applications, though that is a tough gig.

Oh, why do we do these things?

I am also engaged in the steady renovation of our house and gardens, which is good for my soul. There is something about green things growing that heals. I also go to the local Men’s Shed to learn how to make things out of timber and iron and, now travel has been largely stopped, do a little hiking and getting into wild places.

When did you start writing stories?

I started about 13 years ago. My first book, Traveller – now Traveller Inceptio, was completed 3 years later.

What or who inspired you to write stories?

Traveller Inceptio is a mix of science fiction and historical fiction that examines how members of 21st Century Western society could survive the world of the 11th Century.

I was inspired one day after I had been ripped off by a crooked business partner. I was pretty depressed and sat on a beach, imagining how the location would have looked 100, then 200, then 1000 years in the past. Fortunately, I lived close to the beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the exercise of imagining the location before resorts, powerlines and phone towers brought to mind a very different world.

The next step in the tale was to imagine how modern humans would survive ‘back then’. Then – how could such a journey be possible?

The story was born

Besides a lot of my own research, being banned from my library for being so late with returning books, and making every effort to be truthful and conscious of Australian Aboriginal historical sensitivities, the rest was a lot of fun.

What is your favourite genre to write and why?

I love to read good science fiction and love to write the same. I accidentally immersed myself into historical fiction because that is where the story led me. I also love history, and my father is a very dedicated genealogist, so to merge the two genres was fun.

What is your favourite genre to read?

Science fiction and historical fiction – they have to be good though!! Careful, well researched work only!

Who is your favorite Author and why?

I don’t think I love one author only.

I dearly love the works of George Orwell, Colleen McCullough (The Rome Series), JK Rowling, Bernard Cornwell, Arthur C Clarke, Andy Weir, and so on. These are authors of tales of imagination, of new worlds described with not too much waffle. I especially love a clever tale. Stephen King can provide such tales as well.

Occasionally there are authors like Yann Martel (Life of PI) and Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram) where the painting of the mental picture with words can be magical. I always aspire to such a skill.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

I wrote Traveller. That was the short story that became a book that became a series.

I also wrote a few children’s books that were loved by those who read them. I am awaiting my daughter to illustrate them before I take that area any further. That has only been 10 years.

What happened to it? Did you save it or trash it, and why?

Traveller Inceptio was called Traveller and was liked by those who read but, I realize now, rambled on and on. It was finally edited by an English ex-publisher who essentially tore off my arm and beat me over the head with it.

After being shortened, chapters removed, waffle disposed of, tears shed and resubmitted to another editor, I was told I actually had a great story.

Traveller (crappy name – since then how many TV shows and books have that name?) was renamed Traveller Inceptio – meaning beginning. I was advised it was a unique tale, yet since then there has been Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Outlander – all terrifying similar in some respects, but not close enough.

After I was approached, Traveller Inceptio was submitted to vanity publisher Austin Macauley and wasted 3 years sitting around doing nothing.

I have written 5 other novels, including 2 others as sequels to Traveller Inceptio – written because readers and reviewers insisted. Reader encouragement and love of the story has given me encouragement to keep on going.

Thankfully stories continue to make themselves manifest.

Are there any sub-genres, that you would considering pairing together?

I have written a few novels as experiments – a disaster novel with a gentle sci-fi touch, and also a gentle sci-fi in a format similar to Dean Koontz. I find inspiration in looking at odd occurrences changing people as they try to survive in life

I think action and a little adventure and romance is always useful, because that is what happens to real people and makes a story worth telling. I never appreciate gratuitous sex or violence in a story.

 Do you have more fun writing the scenes, or creating the characters?

I really enjoy creating the characters. My first book, the research team for the Transporter were my first real characters. One character, Phil, was essentially based on my son. His friend, Yeti, was also one of my son’s friends by the same name. Believe me when I say the language, stunts and stupidity in which these guys engaged were based on real-life.

I really like to get into the character and hopefully make them a real, three- dimensional believable people. That’s my goal anyway.

Once the character is realistic, I like to place them into the story. The scenes, remarkable as they might be, are part of the character’s experiences. I like to see how a certain person would behave when exposed to the realistically extraordinary.

You’re an Indie Author, so tell us, why go Indie? Why choose to self publish?

Writing is like ‘The Voice’. It doesn’t matter how good you are, or even if you are any good at all. It’s all about being recognized as commercially viable.

I have heard tell that JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame would never be published if she had tried today, because she was poor and nobody would care. Agents don’t want to take a risk. They aren’t really that well paid in most cases. They want a sure thing. So do publishers. That is why there are so many questionable books by best-selling, established authors, celebrities, cricketers and footballers.

So how does an unknown, non-celebrity author break through that?

The desire of so many to be recognized as a credible author makes for a fertile field for rip-off artists ad conmen. Vanity publishers charge fortunes and do nothing for their authors, while we all agonize over if we are truly good enough. What makes it worse is how some of the “Best” new authors touted by some publishers are rubbish.

There is a long and winding road for any author today, and part of that is to find someone like Claire here who is willing to take the risk and help.

Self-Publishing is only the start and, while this may get nowhere in terms of private-jets or Lamborghinis, is the domain of those who don’t want to quit

Tell us how you work. From pen and paper, to your fingers dancing across the keys, do you find yourself cozy and warm with a cup of tea and a blazing fire? Or do you hide in your dungeon, slaving away on your latest masterpiece; the words of wisdom flowing from your fingers as the story is born? Tell us how you write?

I have a study with nice light and a grevillea tree outside where the lorikeets love to squawk and feed.

My best time is in the morning. I am definitely a morning person when it comes to clarity of mind and the ability to place fingers to keyboard. Sometimes, as I go through my day, I get a thought or garner a point that needs to be included in any of the novels I have under way or completed (not published – when they’re published that’s it – it’s too late), so I jot that thought down on paper and make a point of researching further before I add or change the text.

Yes, sometimes I have a lot of scattered pieces of scrap paper sitting on my desk.

Inspiration comes when working in the garden, driving, hiking, chatting or watching You-Tube, which is my preference to normal TV. To be honest, some of what I watch would be scientific and historical, so potentially boring to many, but the research goes on.

 Social Media Links

https://robshackleford.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RobShacklefordAuthor631222523675665/ https://www.instagram.com/rob_shackleford_/
https://twitter.com/robshackleford
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robshackleford9999/

Book Reviews


Traveller Inceptio

Bookroom Reviews

http://www.bookroomreviews.com/traveller-inceptio-by-rob-shackleford-a-time-travel-adventure/#.YaQdRWBByUl

Traveller Inceptio is a fantastic book.431 pages of great writing,fun and interesting characters. Excellent history lessons. If you liked the History Channel’s Vikings you will no doubt love this book I think I understood this book a little better because I watched that show. —->Time Travel is COOL

Artisan Book reviews

Traveller Inceptio by Rob Shackleford – Book Review

Traveller Inceptio is an entertaining, enjoyable and gratifying read, filled with action, adventure and a touch of romance. Rob Shackleford’s exemplary writing style is smart, clever and creative, drawing readers in from start to finish. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the Traveler Inceptio series by Rob Shackleford. Highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews for both men and women, and all insightful, passionate and curious readers!

Traveller Probo

NN Light

Title: Traveller Probo: Traveller Book 2 (Traveller Series)
Author: Rob Shackleford
Genre: Time Travel, Science Fiction Adventure
https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/traveller-probo-bookreview

My Review:

A tour de force in time travel fiction. Incredibly detailed, the author has a keen eye for creating imagery. If an avid fan of time travel, then this book is for you as it will transport you to the past.

If you are a new reader, you will be captivated by New Zealand. The complications that happen in New Zealand take this story into a fresh new turn. The scenes are gripping, realistic and simply draw the reader in.

The portrayal of Special Forces members shows the author has a good appreciation of this special group. The training illustrated for the would-be travellers rings true with accuracy. The continued use of the media’s view helps keep the book grounded. You get a real-world feel for this series with tv and radio personalities involved.

A brilliantly written book that easily draws in a reader. It wasn’t long before I was dreaming about scenes from this book as I read it. The powerful writing simply imbues a reader’s soul.

The book brings to the forefront an important ethical question that is valid today. When is it okay for people of ‘superior’ ways to help those who have ‘less’? In this book, it is the context of the present and past. In our world, it has been the question generally of western civilization and local populations. How does one objectively rate the impact of ‘oh we can help them’ in terms of today? Each reader can grapple with these ethics in their own way. This book does a lovely job of highlighting this contentious theme.

One can’t help but admire the moral and ethical nature of Hunter. The international intrigue and suspense in the 21st century keep this book also with a foot in the present. Recommended to fans of the original book. Recommended to all lovers of the time travel genre. This book will have wide appeal and should be a bestseller.

My Rating: 5 stars

Anthony Avina – Author

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/2021/11/04/traveller-probo-traveller-book-2-by-rob-shackleford-review/

The Review

This was such an adventurous and thought-provoking follow-up to the author’s equally exciting first book in the sci-fi series, Traveller Inceptio. The world-building and character development the author employs here is masterful, as the time-travel element allows readers to experience both the present-day individuals going back to study these ancient civilizations and the historical figures who encounter these strange individuals. The action kicks off from the get-go, with a mission to New Zealand’s past taking a bloody turn, and the balance the author finds with the political and social intrigue of the present with the action and history of the past was so amazing to read.

The attention to detail and imagery the author uses throughout this narrative was so vibrant and engaging that it felt almost cinematic in quality. I could easily picture this as either an ensemble cast film or streaming series, exploring these vast sets and time periods while employing a unique sci-fi twist that will keep readers engaged throughout the narrative. The themes of morality and western civilization’s mindset that superior technology, intellect, and resources give them the right to change or dictate how others operate and live their lives was felt in every chapter of this narrative and kept readers’ minds active as well entertained.

The Verdict

A brilliant, gripping, and heart-pounding historical fiction and sci-fi read, author Rob Shackleford’s “Traveller Probo” is a must-read novel. The intrigue and mystery of the growing missions and the back-room dealings surrounding the Traveller tech will keep readers on the edge of their seat, and the shocking cliff-hanger endings for both established and new characters alike and their missions will have readers eager to devour the next chapter in this epic series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

 

Author Bio

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has also lived and worked in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas. Despite that, he is actually not that boring.

Rob is father of two and has made his green escape with his lovely lady into Australia’s Gold Coast hinterland.

 

Introducing Jenzy Montague and learn about her children’s books.


Interview With An Author – Jenzy Montague

 

 

Tell us about where are you from?

Everywhere, LOL I was born in Missouri. I call Colorado my spiritual home. I loved it there and would move back in an instant. I’ve lived in California, Montclair, New Jersey, and now Virginia. I love mountains and college towns. Virginia gives me both. Even though I live an hour from Charlottesville, Virginia, I consider that home too. I’m a history nut so much history to glean from this area!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Tag team with my daughter and hubby in homeschooling my three precious grandbabies! If not a nose in a textbook, I’m sewing and working with my crafts. I love to get outside and dig in the soil with my gardening. My youngest grandchild loves mother earthing with me.

When did you start writing stories?

I wrote stories when I was a child. I got serious as an adult but put it on hold so I could enjoy my biggest achievement, mothering my daughter. I would always jot down notes about stories that were in my head for years. I was a single mom. I had to be the breadwinner. I worked in a corporate world until I met my hubby.

Since the pandemic, I found myself having time to re-visit my thoughts of getting serious in my writing. It was my daughter Nikki that kept me on track making it happen.

It also was the pandemic that made me realize I needed to write a children’s story about Covid-19 from a child’s point of view. Watching the concerned looks on my grandbabies’ faces, I just had to do something. Noah just popped in my head. Even his name conveys our surviving the pandemic. It is the new norm. Perhaps even a new beginning. With all the stories that were already in my head, it took a pandemic to shake me loose.

What or who inspired you to write stories?

Children. Even when I was one myself, I was compassionate about little people’s feelings, their thought patterns. I wanted to be heard and it would come out on paper.

What is your favourite genre to write and why?

Children’s literature at present. However, I have some notes that I plan to dabble in someday.

What is your favourite genre to read?

If I do not have my nose in a children’s book reading to my littles, I am reading the school curriculum for lesson planning. However, during my downtime, I love historical, paranormal, and fantasy stories.

Who is your favorite Author and why?

Nicole Strycharz. She is a multi-genre writer and I just get lost in her books!

There are other amazing authors I love too. There is Daisy St. James and Lisa K Miller. They both write paranormal romance. Reading these talented women’s works is like a vacation away from the real world for me!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

LOL As a child there was Humpless, the Humpless Camel. I dare say I was very little. In reality, it was Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween.

What happened to it? Did you save it or trash it, and why?

My amazing illustrator, Mara Reitsma, has joined forces with me to publish Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween. Mara turns my world of characters into the exact picture I have in my head. It is like we are of one mind.

My little character Cynthia has been a part of me for years. All I did was tell Mara, and she got me. Then there is you, Claire. You have the talent to frame it to perfection. I am happy to say Cynthia will be a reality hopefully in time for 2021 Halloween. As for Humpless, well, he is still in the file. LOL.

Are there any sub-genres that you would consider pairing together?

Not sure just yet. Possibilities way back in my mind at this time.

Do you have more fun writing the scenes, or creating the characters?

Creating the characters because for me they create the scenes.

You’re an Indie Author, so tell us, why go Indie? Why choose to self publish?

Why not? There is a world of amazingly talented authors out there but cannot reach the goal or luxury of being published. Hats off to the authors who have been traditionally published. After all, they are and have been our inspiration. I choose to support my pen and paper with the Indie world because the drive is for our work to get out there and be read. Without both traditional published and self-published, we would not have such a world of choices to choose from. Makes the reading world so rich!

Tell us how you work. From pen and paper, to your fingers dancing across the keys, do you find yourself cozy and warm with a cup of tea and a blazing fire? Or do you hide in your dungeon, slaving away on your latest masterpiece; the words of wisdom flowing from your fingers as the story is born? Tell us how you write?

LOL, I am usually working side by side with my daughter, Nicole. Our desks are next to each other, with a bookshelf in the middle. Both computers are ticking away with yes, a cup of tea or, most likely, coffee in the early morning. If it is further on in the day, most likely there are children running back and forth screaming at each other or calling Mom, Grandma…Not sure to this day how we do it, but we do. Chaos keeps you on your toes or, for us, our minds working our fingers on the keyboard.

Social Media Links

Noah’s Book Link: http://mybook.to/iamasuperherobyjenzym

Website: https://gaiasgirl101.wixsite.com/jenzy-myworldbooks

FB Page: https://m.facebook.com/MyWorldBooksbyJenzy/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/JenzyMontague/e/B095J8CZ53/

 

Author Bio 

Jenzy, a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, has lived in many parts of the United States throughout her life but settled in Virginia with her family.

She homeschooled her daughter and aided many moms with their journey in homeschooling. She assisted with and tutored children of special needs in phonics, reading, and math.

Now, grandma to three precocious grandbabies. She joins her daughter in homeschooling them.

Jenzy’s been telling stories from childhood to grandmotherhood.

She prefers being in a cubby with pen and paper, capturing the thoughts of children. She shares that hearth of imagination with her daughter, who is also a writer. The only other place to be, she says, is enjoying her brood of three in their little classroom where she teaches!

EXCERPT FROM NOAH

I Am a Superhero A Kid’s Thoughts on Covid-19:
Available Now

Now, Mommy is my schoolteacher and school is at home. We have to stay home ‘cause there’s a sickness that hurts people. I keep forgetting the name of the sickness, so Mommy has to remind me it’s called Covid-19. I don’t like that name, so I just forget it! We have so many rules now.

We have to social distance from people. We have to stay six feet apart. That’s like as long as my dad lying down on the floor. The sickness can jump that far! Everyone wears masks. I don’t like not seeing faces, only eyes. Are they smiling or are they sad? I sing happy birthday every time I wash my hands, and it takes forever!

NEW RELEASE

Cynthia’s Thankful Halloween:
Releasing Soon

A windy start for October, just perfect for Halloween, thought Cynthia. She was the new member of the haunted house on the hill, at the edge of town. Even in the ghost world, a little ghost needs a family, and this house came with one. It wasn’t easy being a ten-year-old little ghost who just moved in and getting a new family too.

Just a few weeks ‘till Halloween. She must practice being scary. The moon would be full this year on Halloween, and her name meant moon. She had to be the best fright ever!

Formatting Issues Clients need to REMOVE

 

A short lesson today about formatting. Most formatting a client leaves in their manuscript can be removed easily, however, there are a few which can’t. Or, should I say, I’ve been unable to find a way so far. I’ve researched and looked and still nothing. They only way I can think of removing this particular error is by teaching the author/writer or client to not put it there in the first place.

This all comes down to INDENTS.  IF YOU CAN’T USE AUTO STYLES TO INDENT THEN PLEASE DON’T INDENT AT ALL!!

DON’T USE THE TAB – This is easy to remove when formatting. We don’t use the TAB because the INDENT is too big. Also If you end up wanted to go to TRAD PUBLISHERS they will want you to use AUTO STYLES and will reject most things without them. Please make sure you read their criteria for submissions if you do try TRAD PUBLISHING.

DON’T USE THE SPACEBAR – There is an easy way to remove this if there are TWO  or more SPACES. If there is less then it becomes an issue. If you are self-publishing it will mean your contractor (if you contract out for formatting) will charge you extra to remove them. It would be better if they aren’t there in the first place!!

WHEN YOU FIND ONE SPACE AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE THE ERROR IS TIME CONSUMING TO REMOVE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A LONG MANUSCRIPT. EACH AND EVERY ONE HAS TO BE REMOVED INDIVIDUALLY.  

Most writers won’t notice they have them unless they work with the PILCROW SYMBOL, also known as Paragraph Mark (Shown below in the image.

When you use this symbol, it shows you where all your line spaces are, your extra spaces, double spaces, how your headings sit etc. In the next photo it shows you the extra space a writer has left behind. It is something most of us do. Even I have done this. for a formatter or interior book designer, it takes extra time and costs you – the writer, more.

In the last image, I have removed all the single dots you see at the beginning of each sentence so the manuscript sits perfectly. We have to do in and put the cursor behind the dot and backspace… on every single one. If there are TWO or more, it is easy to do and can be done in one go for the whole document.

Do you see the difference?  The SPEECHMARKS are now aligned with the first letter of the one above. This is what it should look like. Your formatter will INDENT your work for you, unless you already know how to do this correctly. AUTO STYLES can be confusing to use until you are using them consistently when you are writing.

Another thing to not use in a manuscript is SOFT RETURN. Luckily they are easy to remove, though make a mess of your manuscript once it is done. Use ENTER only when you do a new paragraph and hit ENTER TWICE if you have a change of scene. You don’t need a line space in dialogue or anywhere else unless the SCENE CHANGES or you have a NEW CHAPTER. Once again all these extra lines need REMOVING and they are done one at a time.

SOFT RETURNS are used on Blogs and Writing Sites like WATTPAD. If you are putting anything from a Blog etc into a manuscript then pleas remove the SOFT RETURNS – This is the little arrow you will see when you have the PILCROW turned on in your WORD DOCX. In the image blow is a sample of what a SOFT RETURN looks like.

These are the most common things we have to deal with when formatting for clients. Yes it is all doable, though if you wish to keep your budget on target then please learn to remove the above errors.

 

FRAUDULENT use of our Business Email

It seems our business has been targeted by a person named KRISTA PATTERSON—if this is their real name. They are shown to live in the USA. 

This person is using our email address to sign us up for a lot of websites which are genuine. We then, of course, we get them emailing us. We have unsubscribed from over 64 sites so far, however; Records of all the emails have been kept in case we can do something about this TROLL. We have also notified some websites that our address has been used fraudulently.

The reason for this post is just in case anyone else has been targeted. 

We have no idea who this person is, and why they are doing this. It’s weird!

Extra Payment on LULU

Well, it seems everyone is changing and charging. I’m wondering when it will stop. At this rate, it is going to be too expensive to be an Independent Author.

I signed into LULU this afternoon and saw the statement below on a closable flag across my computer screen.

Beginning October 1st 2021, a small Fulfilment Fee will be added to offset the rising costs of packaging your books in a durable and safe and responsible manner.

I thought all the money we already paid included postage and packaging… 

Also, in case you didn’t know or had forgotten, LULU introduce a price for making an ebook. Each new ebook will incur this cost. 

If anyone else knows of any changes, please put it in comments. 

Celebrating Seven Years in Business

Plaisted Publishing is celebrating seven years in business. Established in 2014, we are growing and have most certainly changed over the years. We’ve introduced an Author Consultant Service to help writers move through the publishing process so they can learn and upload their manuscripts to distribution websites. We also offer tutoring for some distribution websites.

This year we are also supporting charities around the world with our Ghostly Youth and Ghostly Rites Anthologies. All royalties from the ebooks will go to a charity which is chosen by those who participate in the books.
     Our Charity of choice for Ghostly Youth Anthology 2021 is Gumboot Friday/I Am Hope. This is a charity for Mental Health in New Zealand Youth, so they can get the counselling they need for FREE.
  Along with the royalties, we will also donate 10% of any money made from any paid consultation or formatting/Interior Book Design. If you are looking for assistance, please consider using our services so we can pay it forward and help some charities.

You can find more information or make a donation below.

GUMBOOT FRIDAY APPEAL

Psychology and Business

 

I decided it was time for some training and to learn to be more business savvy and find out how things work. Here in New Zealand, we’re lucky to have some FREE Training for Businesses in the Digital Market. I joined up and started watching the videos. The first one was on BRANDING.
 
BRANDING
 
It’s about who you are, what you wish to portray to others, what you do, how you do it and the story behind everything. With saying this… It’s time to introduce myself.
 
I’m a small business owner who went the wrong way into business. I started a company with little knowledge or thought about what I was doing. I made mistakes, which I’ll call my ‘learning curve’ and gained me some knowledge I needed to move forward. Though I have a legal company, I treated it more like a hobby business. I’d no idea how to grow my clientele list because marketing wasn’t a top priority. Not that I knew how to market my business.

Six years on…
 
It’s time to learn and grow. As mentioned above, the first step is BRANDING. The video I watched mentioned psychology of colour and typography. It mentioned how LOGOs are developed to grab attention of customers. Below is my original LOGO, which was designed by Lauren Waters. The design is based on an old family street light, which is still standing outside the building in Woolwich, London, over 200 years later. To me, it showed strength and character.
 
I used black and white (certainly no psychology here). The idea was to use this LOGO on colour background, however, BRANDING is about using the same LOGO consistently. Something I did to a degree, though it also had changes over the years. 
 
Yesterday, I looked up the Psychology of Colour and Typography suggested by the video. Lots of information, and the reading started. I enjoyed reading what Richard Larson had written. It showed you what the different types of FONTs meant, along with the different meanings of COLOURS many of these used by big business. Below is a list of both along with the website so you can read and understand the concepts of this type of psychology.
 
Read this blog post by Richard Larson to understand the concepts behind what graphic designers do to create your LOGO. It’s an eyeopener.
 

Psychology of Colour in Fonts and Content Branding

 
FONTS AND THEIR MEANINGS
  • Serif fonts are associated with authority, tradition, respect, and grandeur.
    • Popular Serif Fonts: Times New Roman, Bodini, Georgia, Garamond, and Baskerville.
  • Sans Serif fonts are associated with being clean, modern, objective, stable, and universal.
    • Popular Sans Serif Fonts: Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, Century Gothic, and Calibri.
  • Slab Serif fonts are associated with bold, strong, modern, solid, and funky.
    • Popular Slab Serif Fonts: Rockwell, Courier, Museo, Clarendon, and Bevan.
  • Script fonts are associated with being feminine, elegant, friendly, intriguing, and creative.
    • Popular Script Fonts: Lobster, Zapfino, Pacifico, Lucida, and Brush Script.
  • Modern fonts are associated with exclusivity, fashionable, stylish, sharp, and intelligent.
    • Popular Modern Fonts: Infinity, Eurostyle, Majoram, Matchbook, and Politica.
 
COLOURS AND THEIR MEANINGS
 
  • Blue: Trust and Security, Calmness, Peace & Honesty, often used by banks
  • Green: Associated with wealth, Easiest color for the eyes to process, often used to represent health and wellbeing
  • Yellow: Optimistic & Youthful, Fun, Humour, Lightness, Intellect, Logic and Creativity
  • Orange: Stimulates Creativity & Productivity, Creates a Call for Attention
  • Red: Creates urgency, vitality & stamina, energy
  • Pink: Romantic & Feminine, Often Aimed at Girls or Women
  • Purple: Soothe & Calm, Intuition & Imagination

What is your business? What is your story? How can psychology help you grow your business?

Discussion is open, and comments are welcome.

 

Vanity Radio Interview Scam…



I had an email yesterday from an author asking about a radio interview with Kate Delaney and Emmy Award Winner form America Tonight. I can honestly say I’ve never heard of these type of interviews before so being me, I went on a research trip to look into it. I was drawing blanks from google until I typed in Kate’s name and radio interview scam, then I found something. Of course it is from the wonder ‘WRITERS BEWARE’ site and written by ‘VICTORIA STRAUSS.’

If you are offered an Interview for Kate Delaney, Ric Bratton or Al Cole, (there are probably others too) then you NEED TO READ VICTORIA’s research which you can find HERE.

Be Careful out there.