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Quantum Crystal by Rob Shackleford

Quantum Crystal

Is humanity evolving?

Today, millions suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress due to warfare, car accidents and violence.

In response to this global epidemic, pioneering medical researchers develop a new treatment that is seen to produce outstanding results. Dubbed the ‘Quantum Crystal’, the treatment is soon rolled out for many of the maladies that affect modern humanity.

But is this treatment all it is purported to be, or are deeper changes under way?

‘Quantum Crystal’ examines the efforts of victim support group, The Staff, to rollout the Quantum Crystal to a deeply divided humanity and the inevitable violent opposition to change.

Amazon

Smashwords

Author Bio Two

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived 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.   

Other Books by Rob Shackleford

Traveller Trilogy

Traveller Inceptio

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?

After the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.

Or is it into a possible past?

The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.

An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.

The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than refined combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life. First Two Chapters here …

Writing “Traveller – Inceptio”

“Traveller – Inceptio” is my first novel and, like any first novel, is the result of years of writing, rewriting, editing, and then leaving it to sit and mature, or rather for me to mature, so I could go back and write new chapters and make adjustments. Originally titles “Traveller”, Traveller – Inceptio was rebranded to make the book name stand out more.

To keep the historical components accurate I had to engage in considerable research. In so doing I have tried not to become too engrossed in the historical minutiae of Saxon or Gabi Gabi Aboriginal life but have attempted to look at what it was like to be a person living there and then. If I have made errors, these are a lapse in my research or understanding and are not meant to be malicious or lazy. I welcome scholarly and cultural input and corrections so I can better understand the rich tapestry of human history where I dip my toes on occasion.

While writing Traveller I have the deepest gratitude for friends and family for their encouragement, input, and correcting my many spelling and grammatical errors. The inspiration for Traveller came when I was sitting on a beach one day and observing the many resorts that proliferate around Australian beaches. Thinking how the world has changed over twenty years then led to speculation of changes over the past two hundred years since the European settlement of Australia. So – why not 1000 years? The world was such a different place.

The cover is an image of a Saxon saex or knife as created by Artist Blacksmith and Bladesmith Owen Bush of Kent in England. I am grateful for his generosity in permitting the use of his image. View his impressive work at http://owenbush.co.uk/  

To describe the attempt to professionalise the writing process, this book has been physically published, professionally edited, rewritten and shortened, republished in electronic format, and recently proofread. Phew!

I hope you find Traveller Inceptio to be an enjoyable read. 

Traveller Inceptio eBook Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

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Traveller Probo 

Traveller – Probo is the inevitable sequel to Traveller Inceptio and the second of the Traveller series.

Traveller Probo

Would you survive if sent one-thousand years into the past?

Development of the Transporter saw highly trained researchers, called Travellers, successfully sent one-thousand years back in time to early medieval Saxon England.

Traveller Missions now mean enormous national prestige and the recovery of valuable lost artefacts and knowledge, so nations vie for the use of the Transporter and more daring Traveller missions are planned.

As the study of History becomes hotly contested, politics and power soon come into play.

To study lost peoples and civilizations, Special Forces researchers have to be even better trained, better equipped, and prepared to put their lives on the line.

While Michael Hunter continues to build a life in Saxon England, the tragically injured Tony Osborne finds his resurgence in a mission to ancient Turkey, and Professor Adrian Taylor seeks to better outmanoeuvre his contentious colleagues.

From the misty shores of New Zealand to the shining splendour of the ancient Byzantine Empire, it is soon learned that sending modern researchers into the past is not without its rewards, and pitfalls.

Traveller Probo eBook Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

 

Traveller Manifesto 

Traveller – Manifesto is the final novel for the Traveller Series.

Traveller Manifesto

Traveller Manifesto is Book 3 of the Traveller Trilogy, the explosive final sequel to Traveller Inceptio and Traveller Probo.

To use the enigmatic Transporter and send Special Forces trained Researchers back a thousand years is now the biggest game in world politics.

But not only politics, as academics scramble to outdo each other and harness prestige in the increasingly influential field of History.

As Professor Taylor is rescued from Byzantine Rome, a heavily-armed US Traveller team explores Mississippian Cahokia to experience a situation beyond even their control. Michael Hunter and Tatae flee Giolgrave in the hope of finding safety from modern interference. But at a terrible cost.

And something seems to be happening in Israel, resulting in the creation of a high-profile investigation team to uncover if there is a clandestine Traveller mission operated by the US and Israel.

From the windswept mountains of Wales, to the hills of Cahokia and the dusty wadis of the Negev, researchers find that to visit the past may not necessarily provide the answers they seek.

Amazon

Smashwords

 

More about writing the Traveller Series

When we examine the history of humanity one thousand years in the past we find many human populations were experiencing massive change and population migration. Migration meant populations coming into contact and the inevitability of violent conflict. This resulted in the extinction of cultures and races.

The people of the time were often not people we of the 21st Century would like to visit. Over a surprisingly wide segment of the globe, any strangers risked becoming victims of cannibalism or ritual sacrifice. The Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and indeed many locations would be just too dangerous for a 21st Century researcher to visit.

 

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Publishing Confusion – Part Four – Social Media

Social Media.

Most of you know how to use the basics…or do you? I thought I was good with Facebook, when one day a course in our local region we found a tutorial on how to use Facebook for business. It blew what we thought we knew right open. OUCH. Luckily there was no re-learning, there was extra learning.

In the last twelve months, many of our Social Media websites have updated. Things have moved, changed or disappeared. Even we’ve had issues finding various items. Sometimes the frustration creeps in and takes over. The better you can use Social Media, the better you can MARKET your business and grow your AUTHOR BRAND. With saying that, we need to give you a few ways to make more out of a post and images.

We’ve always been taught that images get more people looking at your posts. However, what sort of image do you need to use? Have you ever looked on Facebook to see which type of images get the most likes and shares? Why do they get so much attention. Why do people stop scrolling and read? 

Next time you find something you like and read, think about what you notice first. Is it the writing? Which part? A title? A font? Large fonts? The mission into marketing is endless trying to find out what will work for us and our books. RESEARCH…yep that word again. Weird how it keeps cropping up.

Advert for Shattered Badge, Shattered Trust by Sandra Brewster.

We’re going to make a Facebook Post. It was a new release for one of our clients. The novel is called ‘SHATTERED BADGE SHATTERED TRUST’ by Sandra Brewster. It is available on AMAZON. To the left  of the screen is the book cover. For those who are sight impaired the image shows a police badge which has been broke into pieces the the book title across the middle. At the top of the cover is the Authors name. The background is a greenish blur of a crime scene.

First things first is to make a 3D cover so it looks like a book rather than a flat image. This will make it stand out better and hopefully grab a readers interest. It is obviously a story which involves a character who is a cop. Though what is the relevance about the Shattered Trust? Who’s Trust was destroyed and why? Maybe a bit of the synopsis will tell us what’s going on. Can we add it to the Facebook Post? 

This depends on what type of Marketing you are looking at doing. Who are you aiming your ADVERT at? Are you doing a PAID ADVERT or a post in a group? Will you make a TEASER for the story or a POSTER. On that note…if you can’t use photoshop, GIMP, Krita or similar graphic apps then please use CANVA. It’s FREE and easy to use, even for those who think they aren’t good with technology.

CANVA – AUTHOR INTRODUCTION IDEA

In the first PNG image you have all the different areas, all giving you different information. Obviously this is a small image of what the poster would be if it were printed out. Looking at it digitally and asking a few friends, I see what they like and don’t like. The BOOK BLURB is to pale and needs to be BOLD FONT. The eBook app in the image above the authors profile image needs to be put in (can’t do this on CANVA FREE). I don’t like is the BOOK LINK.. it looks to big and untidy. We may make it smaller or use a QR Code.

We have made some adjustments on this second image. The book cover has been placed into the eBook app on the image. In the next image we have put the BOOK BLURB in bold to show what it looks like.

The main issue with the poster is having to use two different apps to make the poster. We started in CANVA and played around, asking for opinions… Now we need to put all of this together. This same poster only needs the book cover adding to the eBook reader along with the QR Code and then it is finished. For now we’ve left the book link in though made it smaller and bold.

My next question is: What do you think? Is it good? Are there any changes? What do you get from reading the poster? Would it make you look up the author and read her books?

Please let me know in comments.

NOTE: The image is to complex to put in ALT TEXT. 

 

 

Publishing Confusion – Part Two. Author Brand

Author Brand! What is it?

Who likes Nike, Adidas? Who’s your favourite Movie Star, Poet, Author?  The first two are BRANDS which people love. The Second are people who can be turned into BRANDS and generally are. So, how do they do this? What does it mean to have a BRAND

If you get a big enough BRAND you can sponsor others, the same way Nike and Adidas do. They are MARKETING MACHINES, but how did they do it? How did they get so big and noticeable? It’s a bit of give and take. The big businesses sponsor the big names in sports and movies. If a movie star loves the shoes, clothes, drink…whatever the business sell, then the public will buy and support the person being sponsored which in itself supports the MARKETING MACHINE. It continually circles around, making money. 

As authors and publishers we need to do something similar. The trouble is getting your foot in the door. How is this achieved. Well it’s time to ask some of the Independent Authors who’ve made a success of their books. There is one lady I know you’d all love to chat with. Sadly she is busy heading for a deadline right now though Jami Albright has given me permission to share how she went about her first book launch, which also shows how she used her BRAND to her advantage.

Find Jami’s Podcast HERE. Other details are below. This Podcast is mainly about a Book Launch, though it shows the process she went through to get SALES and REVIEWS, both an important part of how we use our AUTHOR BRAND.

 

This article was written by Jami Albright in 2017. Jami has since released another three books in her series.

The minute you decide to sell your book it stops being your baby and becomes a product. A product that needs to be launched into the world. Which, frankly, is a dubious task when you consider that there are millions of books on Amazon alone, not to mention the other platforms such as, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Google Play, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

Did you hear me, people? Millions!

So how do you launch your book so it will sell, but also stay sticky in the Amazon rankings and therefore, continue to sell? We have to have a plan. A launch plan.

On April 11, 2017, I released the first book in my Brides on the Run series into the top 3000 in the Amazon paid store and had 50 reviews within the first three days. Eleven weeks later (as of this writing) my book is still ranked in the top 5000 and has over 200 reviews. It’s sold 1100 copies, and has 700K pages read in Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited.

My little book has made over $5000, y’all! (I’m a Texan. We’re excitable.)

When I was asked to write this article about my book launch, my first thought was, Surely, there’s someone more qualified than me to talk about this subject? Because, while I’ve done well, other indie authors are knocking it out of the park with their numbers. But like most of you, I’m a part-time writer with family responsibilities, and a day job, who’s doing everything I can to figure out this indie publishing thing. What I’m trying to say: If I can do it, you can do it.

My launch plan began months before I put my book on Amazon. I started by understanding my genre and making sure my book met the expectations and conventions of that category. How did I do that? I read books like the ones I wanted to write. I familiarized myself with the tried and true tropes that readers want, and then worked very hard to make sure I delivered on those expectations. You can choose to write outside of the parameters of a genre, but know that you are going out on a limb to do it. And you might find yourself alone on that limb with your determination to be unique and no audience. Readers come to a genre knowing what they want. If you disappoint them because you decide to break convention, they will not be happy. They’ll then share their displeasure by leaving a nasty review.

The same is true of covers. When choosing a cover for your book, check out the top one-hundred best sellers in your genre. Are there themes, colors, and fonts that are used to signal that the book is a YA fantasy or a cozy mystery? I’m not telling you to copy those covers, but you should use them as guidelines for your own design.

I write romantic comedy. In the rom-com sub-genre there are three camps as far as covers go. One camp is full of sexy, shirtless guys. The second is illustrated covers with quirky characters, and third features women in flirty skirts, that only show their legs. My book didn’t fall neatly into any of those styles. It’s kind of a combination of all of them. It took several iterations, but I came up with a compromise that I think works. It’s flirty, quirky and sexy, just like my book.

A reader should be able to look at your cover and tell immediately what kind of book it is. If your cover and your content don’t match, then you’ve confused the reader. And a confused reader is one that moves on to the next book by another author.

In addition to a great cover, you also want a blurb or book description that hooks the reader. If you don’t know how to write good copy, learn, or pay someone to do that task for you. Bryan Cohen’s How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis is an excellent resource on the subject. If done well your cover and blurb can sell your book for you.

Before we move on, one more quick word about covers. Put down the mouse and step away from Photoshop. Now! You should not be making your own covers unless you have an extensive background in graphic design. There, I said it. Someone had to.

Hire a professional cover artist. A good cover can cost as little as $25 for a pre-made all the way up to $3000 for an artist commissioned cover. Mine cost me $200, it would’ve been less, but much to my designer’s annoyance, I kept changing my mind. The two most important things you will spend money on are the cover and editing. You should have someone other than your mother or your high school English teacher edit your books. You need a professional editor. Period.

I know these things cost a lot of money, and if you’re like me, that money isn’t in your budget. But it’s important, so important that I worked odd jobs to make extra cash and, ultimately, sold plasma to pay for it all. Was it hard to travel thirty minutes to an unfamiliar part of town, sit for hours in a small room filled with people I didn’t know, and get stuck with a needle twice a week? Yes. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I have a book I’m proud of. A book that looks professional on the inside and out. A book I paid for with actual blood, sweat, and tears. Damn right, I’d do it again.

Now that I’m off my do whatever you have to do soapbox, I should say that you can sometimes barter with an editor to get the services you need. Or find a graphic design student that has experience and wants to build their portfolio. Or just wait and save up until you have the money.

I know you want your book out yesterday, but we’re playing the long game. Smart, professional authors don’t rush something to market that isn’t ready because it will hurt them in the long run.

To re-cap, we need to know our genre expectations, have a fantastic cover that we don’t make ourselves, a well-written blurb that hooks readers, and professional editing and formatting.

Finally, I can’t encourage you enough to get involved with the indie community. Once I realized that indie publishing was the route I wanted to take, I immersed myself in learning everything I could about the business of self-publishing. I listened to podcasts, I got involved with Facebook groups geared toward publishing and marketing, I went to the Smarter Artists Summit, and I tried my best to be a good community member and make meaningful connections with other indie authors. Little did I know how those connections would be a driving forces behind my successful launch.

In the beginning, I had very little to offer other writers other than encouragement. I could share posts, give moral support and be a friend. So can you. It requires a little effort, imagination, and courage, all things you have because you’re a writer.

How do you feel? Do you think you’re ready to release your baby… um… product into the world?

Jami Albright

Running From A Rock Star
www.jamialbright.com
jamialbright1@gmail.com


Please continue to read our blogs for the processes about Author Brand and Book Launches, and please remember the first step to building your book is RESEARCH

Our next article will cover Social Media and Website Building. What to expect, what you need to do and learn. Much of this also depends on your budget. Can you afford it or are you willing to LEARN what’s needed to get your BRAND working for YOU.

 

Partner in Crime Book Services

I’d like to introduce you to one of my Contractors for Editing. Partners In Crime Book Services. They do a lot more than Editing, and they are excellent with their work. What they do shows a top business you can trust, it highlights a wonderful Mother and Daughter team.


Partners in Crime Book Services is a family-owned and operated small business, run by longtime promoter Annie Smith and her daughter, USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi.

Founded in 2019, PIC has grown from promotion to offering a myriad of services for authors and publishers, including:

The aforementioned book promotion (which includes blog posts, groups, pages, and Twitter)

Editing (proofing, developmental, and line included for a single price)

Formatting

Graphic design (covers, banners, teasers, and logos)

Newsletter management

Social media management (Facebook pages and groups as well as Twitter)

Facebook event management

Giveaway management

ARC reader management

And special bundles for new releases or publishing packages.

One could say PIC was formed back in the 1970s when Annie and her late mother would promote musicians. Her mother, Mary, founded the first fan club for The Black Crowes, alongside another fan, when they were starting out in the industry. From there, the two women did local PR in Chicago and West Hollywood for bands such as Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Cinderella, Poison, RATT, Enuff Z’Nuff, and more.

Annie also ran Aerosmith’s fan club; her job was drawing and making up the puzzles for their newsletter, which was some of the earliest newsletter marketing.

Promotion ceased in the early 1990s when Annie had her daughter. Then it picked back up with a new crop of bands beginning in 2005, with bands like My Chemical Romance, The Used, Aiden, Kill Hannah, Vampires Everywhere!, New Years Day, Falling in Reverse, Street Drum Corps, and Stitched Up Heart, Pretty Awkward, as well as others.

Annie and Lily were first on board with Hollywood Waste Records, an imprint of Century Media Records, as their Trainwrecks (the name of their street team). After a few active and entertaining years in the music scene, the duo took a break as Lily began to focus on her writing career.

Applying what she knew firsthand and from Annie’s past, Lily took to marketing her books right away, using Annie as an unofficial PA to find readers across all forms of social media, as well as ARC readers and street team members.

With advice taken from others who were in the industry longer than she, Lily began learning newer marketing techniques, such as Facebook events and newsletter swaps, and how to brand herself as an author. She also began teaching herself graphic design to create teasers eye-catching enough to garner reader attention online.

In 2011, while still working in the music industry, Lily also ran a successful book blog under her birth name, and via those reviews, she built a rapport with authors, even giving advice on their ARCs and how to improve them. That was how she began editing when one of them asked her if she would look over his short story before publication.

Lily edited for three years before quitting to focus solely on her books and improve her craft, as well as did blurb doctoring and critique.

In 2019, during a time of personal change in their lives, it was brought to Annie and Lily’s attention that they could begin offering their services for a fee to authors in need. From there, Partners in Crime Book Services began to blossom. (The name for the company came from Carson Cole Allen a musician in the bands Escape the Fate and Me Vs. Myself, when he called them partners in crime while they were doing music promo.)

Their first clients came from Lily’s former publisher, and from there the business grew and grew, taking off from extremely humble beginnings to garnering clients from around the world, in various genres and with varying needs.

The duo love what they do; seeing their clients succeed brings them joy beyond words.

Find PIC online via:

 Facebook – Partners in Crime

Website: Website – Partners in Crime

Twitter: Annie Smith, PA

Caught out on Facebook

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen at some stage.  However, I’m still puzzled at how. Now you’re wondering what I’m on about.

Did you know that employers can see your FRIENDS Post?  I thought they could only see PUBLIC POSTS.

If I am wrong about this, then how did they find and read the post. It was an ordinary plain post, nothing upsetting no real indication as to who, what or where…well except in replies which I should have taken into Private Message. Needless to say, it was posted for view to FRIENDS. I do this to protect myself after a few hassles. I’m not one to share my life story to everyone. Now I’m shuddering and wondering what others have seen on my Facebook Page which aren’t meant to be viewable by the public.

I went really quiet due to stuff like this nearly two years ago. Not wanting people I am not friends with to know all my business unless I needed or wanted to share. Then this happens. I’m starting to wonder if I should close down and go to MeWe.  

Private posts to FRIENDS should be just that.

CoPromote and now Creator Collabs

I did some googling to find out what was happening and I found posts from ex employees who’ve not been paid, that the owner/director/operator runs when someone is trying to serve them papers…and the list goes on. All you need to do is google CoPromote.  I did try with Creator Collabs…but nothing came up other than there website which…is defunct.

I personally wish I knew what happened to CoPromote.  There was never an explanation as to why they closed down…all I remember was some kind of internet issues. I am glad I used a FREE Account. I doubt those who paid ever saw their money again.

CoPromote was a great loss. It was a great idea and worked really well. I had a massive following at one stage and then bam…They were gone.  Like all small businesses who wish to market we go looking for other websites which do similar things.  I did try one and got told off for posting to quickly…or was that to often.  I never went back.  I decided they weren’t worth the time.

Then I found Creator Collabs.  Opening the site it looked nearly exactly the same as CoPromote. They were back and under a new name…at first I found this weird. I worked out it was the same company, however once joined up, you had to start from scratch again. This was off-putting so even though I used the site…I didn’t use it much, I wasn’t sure about trusting this site. I found Creator Collabs at the end of 2017 then in November they had a hitch which sounded very similar to what happened to CoPromote.  However, they did get back online again.  Then a found a post on Facebook from a friend asking is anyone used the site.  We had a chat in messages.

It seems another hitch has arisen. This friend messaged them and got a reply saying they’d be back online soon.  Then nothing. Messaged again…NOTHING... We spoke and I sent a message on TWITTER….Nope, no reply.  This was earlier this year.

I just checked today…THE LINK IS STILL BROKEN!  NO UPDATE ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK…NOTHING.

If or when this site come back online….I sure as hell won’t be using it. I don’t trust anyone who can’t give me a reply or who can’t explain what’s going on.

WOULD YOU TRUST THEM?

How To: Find and Set up Share Tabs on WordPress

Yes I know there are tutorial for WordPress about how to use and improve your websites & blogs (especially for beginners. The tutorials are brilliant and informative. It is a great place to start your journey. Here is a tutorial link to various things you may want to learn

http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/wp-tutorials/

However. I keep getting asked how to do various things on wordpress, or I assist where I can depending on what I know.  Like everyone else I am still learning due to technology changing and updating.

This post is about Share Tabs…How I sorted mine out prior to knowing about wpbeginner.

SHARE TABS

Everything you do on your wordpress site starts with your HOME PAGE – Whatever name you call it. Mine is PACKAGES. This is also called your LANDING PAGE so it needs to be impressive.

Up on the top left hand side you can see the words MY SITES. Click on this and it will open a panel on the left side as shown below.

This is what you will find. Here you can check your Stats, look over your Site Pages, Customize and so much more. 

Scroll down to the bottom of this bar and you will find WP ADMIN. Click on this and it will take you to another page. Also note on the main page you can see all my share tabs for viewers to use.

This time you will find yourself on your DASHBOARD – Behind the scenes of your website where only you and those you give permission to can visit. Once you get to this page, you can do all the different things you wish to show on your website. Trial and error is part of the learning curve.

Click on SETTINGS  and a new small black box will appear.

This time we want SHARING so we can sort out the tab we wish to make available to our visitors.

The next three slides show you what is available to use and how to move the tabs so they show up where you wish them too.  Drag and drop, choose the style and choose where you wish them to show

DON’T FORGET THE REBLOG TAB. THIS IS HOW YOU CAN EXTEND YOUR REACH AND GET MORE FOLLOWERS.

IF YOU WISH ANY OTHER QUICK TUTORIALS TELL ME WHICH ONES AND I’LL GIVE IT A GO.

Journey into Creating a Publishing Company – Part Three

I never name call anyone. I am always polite and rational with anyone with any discussion. If or when a person earns my ire I tend to grumble a lot, though I do step back and think about the situation which has arisen. I will help as much as I can or as the client will let me…One thing I am clear about is when a client has approved a final file then they will need to pay for extra work, whether the original job was a swap of skills, paid or a package.

2016 was a big year with a lot of changes. It wasn’t a good year on many fronts though I did have a favourite. Needless to say this year was filled with bullying clients and gossip in the local writers group which I didn’t know about for nearly two years. I was devastated by both of these. Luckily for me I have stong family support from my husband and children and some really great friend. Many of those friends were students from my Business Management Course and my Incubate Course.

There was one bully who I worked with. They were like an advisor, going to do marketing for me on a local scale, introduced me to a local reporter for one of the free newspapers. All of this was appreciated. In exchange I formatted their first book, pulled together a book cover – all to the best of my ability at that time – both ebook and print, assisted them set up accounts with createspace and kindle. Now if one thinks about all the time involved the different things I was learning, it was a lot of work. I can’t really put a price on this.  They were happy with the result…UNTIL…They suddenly decided I’d not done the book properly (a word I now HATE) Thinking back I did two books for this person. The other was in exchange for a computer (desktop) he put a price of $300 on which strangley was raised to $400 during email discussions. It wasn’t acutally worth anything due to it’s age. Once again I did the second book plus two websites.
What I wonder now is if the second book was better set out than the first due to the growth in my learning…Would you redo a client’s book for free because you’ve learnt more about interior design?

One thing I will advise everyone with a small business…

MAKE SURE YOU KEEP ALL YOUR EMAILS FOR EACH CLIENT SO THEY CAN’T BITE YOU ON THE BUTT/ASS AT A LATER DATE!!

Even in those days, I insisted all clients to proofread their own books for any formatting edits. Bits that need changing or taking out etc.  This person approved the final file. Six months later they complained I’d left their home address in the back of the book and I have the synopsis in the back as well.  EXCUSE ME…YOU APPROVED IT!!  Fed up with the ongoing emails, I redid the formatting which was once again APPROVED.  
    Now we come to the end of 2016. They had decided to sue me…I presume at small claims court. They were going to win and take all my business/money etc.

WOW.  Not only this, I had another client who disparaged my name (Yes I can still sue them for defamation of character) They contacted me for a meeting.  I went into a deep depression and fog for three weeks…It was one of the worst time in the year for this to happen due to course work for Business Management along with trying to claw my way out of the fog and stabilise once more. 

With the bully I was still getting emails. In the end I sent them an offer which most folks wouldn’t refuse. I got a unpleasent email stating I was to re-do the book, and upload it to createspace, and purchase 5 or so copies to be sent to them by a certain date. They had gone a step to far. I was now furious.
     Offering them one last deal. It took several weeks to prepare and over $500 out of my business…which is still a loss to this day.  I printed off all their emails I met with my business admin who I had to pay ($75) to go through them and advise me if I was correct with my assumptions. That was another $300. Yes I was correct. If they sued me I could prove they were in the wrong, not only that, I could re-sue them for defamation of character.
     The email was sent. It wasn’t accepted. I still don’t understand why. The email was sent via my business admin. Their reply.  “All I wanted was to have it edited”
    If a client has approved a final file then they need to pay for any further formatting edits. They also need to use the final file I sent them.  I have about 4 different files with different words counts on my computer…Which is the right one? Why should I continue to edit their work for FREE when they had approved final files. 

From this time one I went quiet on Facebook which of course, affected my business badly. This person was still on my friends list and in two groups I ran. It wasn’t until mid 2017 that I finally deleted them, unfriended and blocked them. This was all thanks to another online friend who is like a sister to me. The relief was immense, though with them still living locally I was real nervous going up town. Call it anxiety of thinking they’d verbally attack me in the street. This is also another reason few of my friends online know I went back to England. 

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KEEP RECORDS FROM ALL YOUR CLIENTS AND ALSO ALL YOUR REPLIES. IT MAY SAVE YOU ONE DAY.

This same person also emailed saying they had paid for a membership to the Chamber of Commerce…NOPE they didn’t because I have my receipt.  However I still wonder today if they paid for a second year – without my permission due to the fact I still received post from this group. I have never been able to find out.

SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS!

As for the second person…They are still in the background, pottering along with life, asking me for coffee…well until they found out I was back in the UK…

The strange thing is that the only clients I’ve ever had issues with were all local males to were I used to live. All my online clients have been amazing and I have loved working and growing with them.

As for the Writers Group. I gave the then chairperson – who is an Editor, a printed out copy of my book to look through and advise.  She came back that it wasn’t her style and a bit rude. Ok yes she is an older lady.  What I didn’t know was that she’d told the rest of the committee and god knows who else that I wrote Erotica.  The book at that time was called Malachy’s Unit – it is now called Hidden Secrets.  It is not erotica or even erotic. It is murder, mystery romance with a bit of spice.

Nearly two years later I took my children’s book in to sell and show to the writers group. Girlie and the War of the Wasps. One of the gentlemen who approached me to buy a copy said. “Oh, I thought you only wrote erotica.” to my reply. “I don’t write erotica.”  Once again I was as mad as hell. I never went back to the group. The thought they were all looking at me a a nonsense smut writer (yeah they were that bad) was beyond a joke.

The Best Part…

The best part of 2016 was assisting a client with three children’s book. ‘The Pottontots’ is a set of three books with wonderful art work by the author. Keith Broad was awesome to work with and his stories are a great read for any child.

My Journey into Creating a Publishing Company – Part Two

Here I was proud to be a Director of my own limited company. With a gentleman who was going to assist with Marketing in exchange for publishing a book and my daughter as a contractor to do Book Covers.

My daughters hobby business is Ceejay Designs. Claudia was studying Graphic Design after being trapped in our home with agoraphobia. This was her first step into the real world for two years. I was and still am so proud of her accomplishments. Today she still suffers from Anxiety, however she is braving the world, moving from New Zealand to England with her family to have time with her English grandparents.

Back to my Publishing Company…

It was the end of 2014 beginning of 2015 and I had a few articles in the Newspaper about my business, me as an author and my first client (exchange not paid). This bought in three more clients over 2015.  It was great. A small amount of work, though I was still learning the ropes. This helped me grow at the rate I needed to. Those clients were – Norman McClean, Captain B M Commons & Bob Sutton, the last two have since passed away.

 Photo: Kay Buchanan / KeyImagery Photography

During 2015 I did two business courses. One was a short 12 week course – called Incubate, which was to advanced for my business at that stage. However, it was interesting all the same. I learnt a lot about the ins and outs of business. One thing I did realise was it would be years before I could employee anyone, however contracting out would work well until I was ready.
     The other course was a Certificate in Small Business Management, Level 4 which I studied one night a week at Te Wananga o Aotearoa which is a Maori College. I met some amazing students there who are still good friends today. The third course was a diploma in Small Business Enterprise, Level 5. Both of these taught me a lot of different skills which I needed to run a successful business. However, I also needed publishing skills. How to format a book to look professional.

What did I do…?

Research, which is something all authors need to do if they wish to be proficient and successful. This is where the library and the local book stores come in handy. You can look at books and see how they are set out. It is mind-blowing how much work goes into creating a book. As many say – ‘Writing the book is the easy part’. Not sure I would always agree with this, however I now know the ropes to help my clients get the best formatting around. Yeah, I am proud of myself and what I can do.

Some of the things you need to learn as a publisher…!

What does a paperback book page look like?
Where does the Copyright page go?
Do you need a Contents Page?
Do you need a Contents Page?
Acknowledgements & Dedications?

Where does the Author Biography go?
Author Links? How do you make them and where do you put them

Then you need to style the paperback pages…

Headers for paperbacks
Page Numbers. 
Fonts Style – Which are the best to use?
Font Size
Margins
Book Size
Footnotes & Endnotes
Criteria for Distribution Websites

What about ebooks…?

Hyperlinks
Contents Pages
No Headers
No Page Numbers
No blank pages

Remembering we read an e-book as if it is a scrolling document. You don’t need to choose a font or font size, the distribution websites do this for you. A reader can change the size and font to what they wish once the book is downloaded. This is unless you embed the fonts you are using

How do Children’s books Differ…?

Artwork & Illustrations.
Full Colour or Black & White

Fewer Pages
Bigger Font Size
Different shape and size books – paperbacks.

What you need so you can turn your manuscript into a product people will buy…

Book Cover Design
Editing and all the different types a writer may need
Beta Readers
ARC Reviews

Contacts & Connections
Social Media
Marketing

The list goes on and I continue to learn something new every few months. I will probably talk a bit more about my learning curve and how or what I had to do to get the job done.

Towards the end of 2015 Plaisted Publishing House made their first Anthology. There were so many entries that two books were made with about 600 pages in each one. These Anthologies were made in conjunction with the Awethors Group on Facebook. They were to be used as a marketing tool for the authors who participated. The e-book would be FREE and the paperbacks – due to being so big, were $25 a piece. It took months to organise with many of the group volunteering their services with Beta Reading, Editing and Checking.  I was in charge of the formating and publishing.  What a learning curve that was.
We had a huge release day over several continents and if I remember I think I stayed up for 17 hours posting on my website about each and every author who filled in an interview form. Of course in those days I was new to WordPress as well.  If I knew I could schedule posts, I probably would have gone to bed a lot earlier. 

During the Event several of us did Take Covers on various blogs.  This was my post as an author. The characters take control…LOL. This was posted on Northern Witch Books

My Muse Attack

All in a day’s work

by Claire Plaisted


“Claire what on earth are you doing to Fabia, who’s attacking her?” demanding Zoe, flying through the door, Jagan (thank the lord) a small drag on her hand blowing fire.
“Slow down Zoe, and please tell Jagan to stop his fire, I don’t want the fire alarms or sprinklers being set off again,” I told her sternly.
“Jagan,” she scolded.
“Sorry, it’s such fun,” he sighed, curling up to go to sleep.
“Fabia will be fine, she is allowed to have an adventure too.”
“I don’t want her getting hurt.”
“I won’t get hurt Zoe,” said a smiling voice from the door.
“Fabia, she squeals, shoving Jagan in her pocket.
They ran to each other hugging, both talking at once.
“Girls, will you either calm down or get out of my office.
“Sorry Claire,” they grinned.
They sat on the sofa, clasped together giggling when Tristian from ‘Fred the Evil Incarnate’, walked in, they gawked, eyes wide.
“Yes Tristian?”
“What did you do with my son?”
“He went exploring.”
“Please find him.”
“Da da, I’m going to have an awesome adventure.”
Tristian’s youngest boy rushed through the door, his dark hair and grey eyes alight with excitement.
“Where too young man,” he said crouching down.
“Into the other worlds beyond the edge,” he replied.
I cringed, waiting for the explosion of temper, before he could Abraham from GIB walked in, his hands in his pockets. He looked tired and on edge.
“Abraham,” I murmured standing up and approaching him. “What’s wrong?”
“The world is going to go to hell!” he said looking down at me.
“What do you mean?”
“I met…oh never mind, just get ready to die, the world…” sighing he walked out again.
“What was that?” said Zoe?”
“That was Abraham, he works with Garrett Investigation Bureau,” I replied frowning as I sat back at my desk.
“What was he on about – the world going to hell stuff,” said Fabia. “Our world went to hell and is on the brink of returning to near normal again.”
“Tristian, meet Zoe and Fabia, best friends from a book called “Princess of the Earth.”
“Hi,” he smiled down at them kindly. His son tugged on his dad’s hand. “Yes son?”
“Who’s that in the doorway?”
“Hey Cera, solved anymore riddles lately,” I grinned.
“No,” she scowled. I can’t find…”
“You can find anyone.”
“Those dratted faeries took her, I lost her track,” she snapped.
“Well get the heck out of here and find her and hurry up. I want your novel on sale by this coming Christmas at the latest.”
“Charming, has to be my fault.”
“Well you’re the one with the magic powers Cera the Black Cat.”
“Whatever,” she said as she changed into her cat form and padded out of my office, the others with their jaws dropped open.
“Get outta here you lot and go do your thinking, I need to get some of these draft stories finished.
There was a knock on my window. I looked out and nearly screamed, when I realised it was Paul the Moa with David his best friend. Quickly I jumped up and flung the windows open.
“Oh my, it’s two years since I last saw you two, how you’ve both grown.”
“Yeah Paul is quite scary now he’s twelve foot tall,” laughed David, with a cheerful grin.
“So you must tell me your adventures, last time I was writing about you, Paul was only a baby and fast asleep.”
“We’ll stop by soon when you’re not so busy,” he replied.
Pulling on the bridle, Paul pecked me, making me laugh then lifted his head away and off the ran over my back garden, I looked now at the rather large footprints Paul left behind and winced, my gardener was not going to be pleased.
“What the hell was that thing, it looked like an overly large Ostrich,” gasped Eilish Garrett, who’d entered my office while I was chatting with David.
“That’s a Moa, a native New Zealand bird which was thought to be extinct.”
“It’s huge.”
“Maybe I’ll introduce you one day. Meanwhile, everyone out, I need my office back so I can finish at least one novel.
“Grumbling the left, though I knew I would be disturbed again soon. It was always the same with my muses. God help me when the Gothixies finally put in an appearance.

The door crashed open.
“When are you publishing my story?” demanded Jones.
“Another few weeks, now get out,” I was getting aggravated with them all.
“Touchy aren’t you,” he grinned and slammed out again.
“Just one more interruption and I’ll scream,” I muttered as I began to type once more.

Since this was blogged. Jones’ story has been published, the world hasn’t ended and nor has Abraham’s book been finished so you still have time to prepare for the end of the world. The other lovely characters and muses have draft books still pending.

Back to the Event…

What I didn’t realise at the time, was this event would increase not only my knowledge but my connections as well. We enjoyed the event so much, we also did an Anthology in December. Religion sort of got in the way, however my daughter came up with the book title ‘December Awethology’. Once again there were two books though much small this time.

In Part Three I will tell you about the difficulties I had…Publishing isn’t all easy, sometimes Clients can misbehave and I’ve had several.